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Miller buys back Lansing Corners

After the sheriff’s sale of Lansing Corners, the property is still under the control of Tom Miller and MF Investments LLC. But it might not be for long.

Attorney Paul Sween, of Adams, Rizzi and Sween, bid $262,852 to re-purchase the property on behalf of MF Investments and Miller at the sheriff’s sale 10 a.m. Friday in the lobby of the law enforcement center.

Miller already held the assignment of mortgage and the note on the property from Wells Fargo. Miller essentially purchased the property from himself. Sgt. Martha Hauschildt of the Mower County Sheriff’s Department said Miller now owns the title on the property, where he had been acting in place of the mortgage company that owned the loan.

Even though he just purchased the title, Miller’s representatives are reportedly nearing a deal to sell the property to the Mann Group, an investment firm based out of Minneapolis that owns several restaurants in the Twin Cities. Smoky Petersen, who attended the sale on the Mann Group’s behalf, said that a deal could be completed as early as Monday.

“We’re looking forward to closing Monday,” Petersen said Friday afternoon.

Petersen said the Mann Group would like to open the business as soon as possible as either a bar, a restaurant or a bar and restaurant combination. Before a deal could be completed, Peterson said he plans to speak with Mower County officials on Monday about code issues related to opening a bar.

Petersen said he and his investors also need to check on issues concerning the property’s sprinkler system, some of the cooking equipment and the septic and sewer system.

While Petersen reported a deal could be completed Monday, Miller declined to comment on Friday’s developments. He did not attend the sheriff’s sale because he was out of the area for business reasons.

A six-month redemption period began with the sheriff’s sale, as a time when the former owners — Ron and Karen Valentine — could redeem the property. However, Sween said it’s likely the Valentines will agree to reduce the redemption period to five weeks.

Hauschildt said Miller can sell the property during the redemption period, but it doesn’t happen often as there’s the common risk the owners could seek to redeem the property.

Lansing Corners has been vacant since Ron and Karen Valentine closed the restaurant in 2008, citing health reasons and the economy. Lansing corners originally opened in 1938 as a gas station and diner. The Valentines purchased the property from Lee and Donna Robbins in 1996 and later added the banquet room in 1999.