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Tenant found for Ben Franklin building

By Staff | Jul 31, 2009

The Rugby Area Job Development Authority (JDA) last month approved a proposal from Susan Brandjord, Bottineau, owner of Ellie Ann’s interior design business, for a two-year lease of the former Ben Franklin building.

The business currently operates in the R&L Decorating building adjacent to the JDA-owned property which has been for lease or sale for the past three years.

As part of the terms of the planned lease, the JDA will pay for some building improvements, including a new heating and cooling system and a handicap-accessible restroom. Brandjord will fund remodeling the ground floor, according to Brenda Foster, JDA executive director.

Grants through state agencies will be applied for to cover the JDA’s costs in making improvements to the property, Foster said.

The JDA purchased the property from the city in the fall of 2006 and funded improvements, which included encapsulating asbestos tiling, cleaning out the main floor, basement and upstairs and building a front facade and installing windows.

The JDA and Brandjord are expected to sign the lease this month. Foster said the board’s preliminary approval was to allow contractor’ to begin work in the building.

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