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Businesses lined up for downtown DL

THINGS ARE PICKING UP in the new downtown development, with a number of leases signed and construction underway.

The first two of three buildings in the Downtown Crossing redevelopment are already leased out and the ground has yet to be broken.

Developer Jim Buus, with Schlossman Goldmark of Fargo, confirmed that not only have tenants signed leases to fill the two buildings, but that only one - Miguels Mexican restaurant - is a local business. The rest will be new to Detroit Lakes.

The city and the developers, DLM Downtown Properties LLC, closed on the land sale Friday.

"We plan to break ground shortly, as in the next week, on buildings one and two," Buus said. "And we are trying hard to get everything in order to break ground on the third building yet this year as well."

Having the contractors and crews in place this fall will help keep costs down, rather than having them come back next spring to start the third building as was discussed in the past.

"It's usually the cleanest and easiest to get it done in one shot," he said.

Regardless of the status of the third building, the first two will be up this fall and open for business next spring.

Detroit Lakes City Administrator Bob Louiseau said one reason for the groundbreaking not happening sooner is because of everything going on in the immediate area, with Veterans Memorial Park work going on at the moment, too.

"One of the problems is there's just so much equipment in there right now with the utilities. If you've been by there, there's not much room for another contractor to move," he said.

Buus said he's not naming names on which new businesses are coming to town out of respect for them and to allow them to publicly announce it on their own schedule, but he did confirm that, "yes, I can say buildings one and two are full. And we have very strong demand for the third building.

"We've been really pleased with the demand that we've seen for entire project," he added.

"It's exactly what they said they were going to do," Louiseau said of having all new tenants in the buildings.