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      Florence grocery store could reopen

      If it goes as planned, it could be something Florence could go bananas about. Thereâ??s a chance the vacant grocery store in town may be reopening. The Florence County Economic Development Authority said an Upper Michigan company has made an offer on the empty store. Patâ??s Foods, who has stores in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, Ontonagon and Lâ??Anse, is the interested buyer.

      The building is also eligible for potential tax increment finance funding, but Economic Development is still waiting for a few more approvals before any finalization.

      â??It's a project that's contingent on a grant we're applying for through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; it's a community development investment grant and it enables blighted property, because this is considered blighted since the building's been empty for almost seven years, so this provides a little extra cash to help a business project happen,â?? said Florence County Economic Development Director, Wendy Gehlhoff. She said if it goes through, anywhere from 15 to 25 jobs would be created in the community, and it could create an anchor for additional retail growth.