buyouts to bring change to Fourth Avenue

City of Minot buys out Home Sweet Home, Open Gate Church

Jill Schramm/MDN Home Sweet Home co-owner Linda Johnson, left, visits with customers in the store Monday.

A local church and the owners of a quaint retail store have reached buyout agreements with the city of Minot.

The Minot City Council approved purchase agreements Monday with Open Gate Church, 400 N. Main, and the nearby Home Sweet Home at 103 4th Avenue NW.

“It’s definitely the last Christmas in this old house,” said Home Sweet Home co-owner Linda Johnson. The gift store well known for its North Dakota-sourced products must be out of its current location by March 1.

Johnson said a new location has not been found yet. The retail portion of the business will have to close if no place is found, but the broker businesses and appearances at Pride of Dakota and other shows would continue.

“In the three and half years dealing with the city, we found places but all sold before we had a settlement,” Johnson said. “Now we can’t find anything for the amount of square footage we need for the money that is given to us.”

The business continues to look for potential locations in Minot or Bismarck.

Pastor Roy Leavitt with Open Gate Church said the congregation also still is looking for a new location. They need to be out of their current building April 16.

Because Home Sweet Home is an historic property, the city is required by the North Dakota Historical Society to preserve the house. Johnson said the house will be moved just across the street. However, she said, it was not feasible to keep the house and continue it as a retail store in the new location because of the involved and costly moving process, particularly given the risk of moving damage.

City spokesman Derek Hackett confirmed that moving will be expensive. For that reason, he said, the city is considering potential options to see if it would be possible to keep the house in place. Beyond removing the building from the flood project’s footprint, the city has not yet considered any future plans for the house.