Best of the North Bemidji Real Estate Real Estate in Bemidji
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Best of the North

1421 South Lake Irving Dr SW

300' High visibility frontage,
excellent access, surging traffic

Best of the North

Pine Grove Lot
Pine Grove Lot
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Best of the North

This large corner lot will be in the perfect location for either business or housing use, enjoying easy access and high visibility in both directions. Today, the offered property is an investment in the continuing growth and future of the city.

Bemidji Area:
The city and surrounding townships have benefited by steady population growth and have become an active regional center, a hub for shopping and entertainment. Some of its features are its strong educational system and university, mall and shopping opportunities, extensive medical and care facilities, even substantial airport development and use. The lakes and outdoor lifestyle are large drawing cards, and summer population doubles. The city is a heavy governmental center for the region which creates stability, along with the fact that the community is not dependent on, or vulnerable to, any single, large industry or employer.

A Two-Sided Town:
When you look at local demographics it’s evident that the town has developed in the shape of an hourglass with residential on both ends and with the narrow channel between the lakes as a divider bridge. The primary shopping area is concentrated on the northwest side of Bemidji with the mall, Target, Wal-Mart, new banks, and a host of smaller strip centers. The retail growth has driven highway #197 NW land prices through the roof (prohibitive to many smaller businesses) and there is little highway frontage remaining. Expansion room on the northwest side of the hourglass is limited and expensive, which is certain to create other opportunities, and today commercial business is looking at south Bemidji as a viable alternative.

The South #197 Artery:
MN State #197 is THE route through town, will be the major south route into Bemidji, and considerable traffic increases are projected. The availability of more affordable 197 frontage property will spark greater south end commerce in the coming years. There is really no other option if businesses want to be visible on the main artery. The highway section from Lueken’s Grocery and south was recently upgraded to a five lane road (two travel lanes each direction and a center turn lane). MnDot did this project because of anticipated Bemidji traffic patterns to and from the US #2 bypass.

Today the south end of Bemidji along #197 is a “transition area”, currently a combination of small businesses and older residential homes gradually disappearing and being replaced with new businesses. We believe the improved highway will accelerate this changeover as an emerging growth area.

South Side on the Move:
South Bemidji’s new look is already underway. Consider the following: the huge Sanford Event Center built on the south Lake Bemidji shore, an upscale Doubletree Hotel now open on the lake, a new Country Suites Hotel and Cowboy Jack’s Restaurant attached to the event center, a 30 townhome development now selling east of Sanford by the lake, and a new $4 million MN Public TV facility adjacent to the south. That’s only the expansion around Sanford.

Just up #197 at 1st Street South is an “island” four acre site (former MnDot headquarters), purchased and cleared by the city for commercial redevelopment. The site is now available, is likely a larger project, and it is reported that the city has received an offer on the property for a new 70 unit extended stay hotel.

Only a quarter block north of this property on #197 is the entrance to the busy industrial park and transfer station. A huge new Minnesota Limited complex is set to begin construction off Carr Lake Road in the park. Additionally, a new commercial plat behind Southside Restaurant at the bypass with a large Kenworth truck sales and service facility and Nortrax (John Deere parts) both already committed, the continually expanding Irvingboro residential project just to the west on Lake Irving, another new residential plat south of Horace May School, big church additions along #197 at Evangelical Free and Calvary Lutheran. All together these developments and commercial growth indicate that this highly visible frontage property will be a good place for business in the coming years.

Less competition here! The northwest (big box store/mall) side of town has high traffic and lots of people, but it also has a substantial level of business competition. Sometimes it makes sense to set a business apart, and this location can do it!

Situated on the corner junction of five lane MN State Hwy. #197 (a through city extension of US #71 bypassing the town) and Pine Grove Street (Hwy. #197 is also known to locals as Washington Avenue South). The for sale parcel lies only several hundred feet south of the current city limits in Bemidji Township.

  • Legal description of the property is Lot 1, Block 1, Pine Grove (part of a small housing subdivision). Beltrami County parcel number is R03.01115.00. Address is 109 Pine Grove Street (off Pine Grove).
  • Lies about half mile north of the US #71/#2 bypass junction, just south of the bike/snowmobile bridge about midway between the Lueken’s South grocery store and the highway bypass.
  • Prior use: Formerly a residential site containing an old rental home and several mobile homes. In 2005 I cleared and demolished buildings, sealed three wells, crushed septics and removed/filled a basement. The property backs up to a home on the west side, with a home/timber business on the north.
  • The lot contains (per County plat) 310’ of valuable highway #197 frontage by approximately 325’ deep, totaling approximately 100,740 square feet or 2.31 acres.
  • A number of entrances have been built into the property, one off Pine Grove Street and more off #197 farther to the north. This could potentially allow the property to be split E-W into two lots. The center turn lane provides safe access.
  • Elevation: This is a naturally sloping parcel declining from south to north matching the highway grade. The highest point is the SW corner along Pine Grove, then sloping down to the north and less to the east. Virtually all high ground.
  • Drainage off the sloping site is obviously excellent, now emptying into a ditch running along the adjacent property to the north, which in turn connects to a second primary ditch by the trail bridge to the north. A small wetland exists on the very northwest corner tip of the site.
  • Only a few mature trees remain on the property (an advantage because of tree removal ordinances). Utilities now in place include underground electric, natural gas, phone, internet, and TV. Sewer and water could possibly be extended to the property by agreement with the city.
  • Real estate taxes on the now vacant and undervalued parcel are $456.00 for 2015.

Zoning and Use Status:
The parcels in this area are currently zoned R3 (residential larger lot). However there are several Hwy #197 frontage businesses nearby including a radio station and private timber equipment shop adjacent. This #197/Pine Grove property is in Bemidji Township but lies only one lot from the city limits which makes it feasible to request annexation and obtain city sewer/water connections. There would be several hoops to jump through to accomplish this annexation, rezoning and utility access. Without sewer/water mains anything built on the lot would require a well and septic system along with commercial rezoning by the GB planning.

Availability of Larger Adjacent Parcel:
A family owned timber equipment repair shop is situated adjacent to the north with about 250’ of #197 frontage and about five acres of high ground toward the highway. This estate owned parcel abuts the city, could petition for annexation, and could be available for purchase. Combining this parcel with Pine Grove would produce a unique opportunity for greater use and provide additional valuable highway exposure (total 560+’).

Asking $165,000. No protective covenants are in place on Pine Grove subdivision. Rezoning is required for commercial use.

Reason for sale: My intention has been to hold the property and profit on the increased value. However, I am at retirement age and may be relocating outside the area. I would potentially consider a Contract for Deed sale with substantial down payment or other collateral with balloon in two years or less, or possibly a trade for a Bemidji area home. I am a licensed Minnesota real estate Broker and owner of Best of the North Real Estate Co. My purchase of the property was for investment and future resale.

I believe Bemidji will continue to grow as a regional center and secondary retail growth is inevitable along this south corridor. This corner parcel will become a prime site as southward expansion unfolds. Whether you purchase this property as an investment for later resale, or own it for personal business development, you will be ahead of the curve, and increasing prices, by buying now.

Best of the North

For additional information contact:
Mike Ettesvold

(218) 444-4100

Best of the North Real Estate

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