6/1/2017 4:13:00 PM New liquor store gets city council OK in North Branch
There’s going to be a second North Branch Municipal Liquor Store, next door to County Market. City council members voted 4-1, with Robert Canada opposed, to authorize staff to sign a seven-year lease for 2,840 square feet of off-sale space. The other North Branch off-sale is behind Holiday on the east side of I-35.
Council saw revenue projections and was advised the new store will only siphon about 15 percent of the original store’s proceeds, causing no financial hurt to existing operations. The North Branch store is experiencing sales of $597 per square foot and growing...this was at $350 per sq.ft. in 2012, according to the fiscal analysis given to council.
The plan is to be ready to open the store in fall 2017.
Council member Canada said he didn’t think government should run a business and first floated a motion to deny staff’s request to proceed on the lease. He got no second. On a motion by the mayor the vote was 4-1 to move ahead.
Council member Jim Swenson commented that this second store is a “no brainer” because the city should be open to any and all options where it can enhance revenues.