Park Rapids City Council approves new use for old J&B Foods building
Kasey and Crystal Krautkremer propose using the property for a combined furniture store, indoor storage facility and used car sales lot.
The Park Rapids City Council on June 28 approved a conditional use permit (CUP) for a combined retail and storage space and a used car sales lot.
Located in the former J&B Foods building at 1104 Park Ave. S., the 43,136 square foot building has been vacant for several years, since J&B owners Jeff and Bob Hensel moved the store to 101 4th St. E., currently Hugo’s Family Marketplace. The building is currently owned by H Brothers LLP, no relation to the Hensels.
According to City Planner Ben Oleson, applicants Kasey and Crystal Krautkremer are interested in dividing the building into a “Beds Plus” furniture retail space and warehouse and 29 heated, indoor storage units. They also requested the use of part of the parking lot for used car sales.
Oleson said the planning commission recommended approval of the CUP with the condition that the owners comply with local, state and federal laws, including city code regarding signage, lighting, parking and stormwater management.
“It’s exciting to see that there’s going to be some activity down there,” said council member Erika Randall.
Randall asked Oleson if the planning commission had discussed the condition of the parking lot and how much of the lot the auto sales would take up.
Oleson said the commission did discuss the number of spaces that the sales lot would use, “and we confirmed … that it would still be enough parking to meet the requirement for the rest of the business.”
Council member Tom Conway made a motion to approve the CUP request. The motion passed unopposed, absent council member Liz Stone.
The council revoked two CUPs that were never developed at 619 1st St. E., now owned by TruStar Federal Credit Union.
According to Oleson’s report in the council’s agenda packet, the property was granted two separate CUPs – one, in 2004, for a custom motorcycle repair shop, and another in 2011 for an open sales lot.
The report states that TruStar Federal Credit Union purchased the property, razed the existing building on it and intends to use it as a parking lot for its business across the street.
The council also revoked two previous CUPs, recorded in June and October 2021, for John Zentz to install roof-mounted solar energy systems at his home at 104 Riverside Ave.
Oleson explained that Zentz decided not to go forward with the project.