Charlie's Bazaar, destroyed by fire 14 months ago, to rebuild on Alexandria's Broadway

The building permit estimates the cost of the project at $375,000.

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Ice formed on an archway and statues at the back entrance to Charlie's Bazaar after firefighters doused a large fire that took down four downtown buildings Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (Echo Press file photo)

Charlie's Bazaar, one of six businesses that were shut down by a devastating fire on Alexandria's Broadway in February 2020, will rebuild.

The city recently issued a commercial building permit to owner Charlie Vernlund to construct a new single-story building at its old location of 508 Broadway.

The permit estimates the cost of the project at $375,000. The contractor is Ryan Grewe Construction and it's being designed by Ringdahl Architects.

The lot at Fifth Avenue and Broadway once housed four historic buildings but that all came to a crashing end on February 25, 2020, when an early morning fire reduced them to rubble.

The debris from the buildings that once housed Charlie’s Bazaar, Raapers Eatery and Ale, RM Tattoo, Little Darlings Children’s Boutique, Achieve Wellness and Hidden Treasures Collectibles and Comics was hauled away last spring.


In their place is a vacant prime piece of property in the heart of downtown.

Vernlund is the first businesses owner to seek a building permit at the fire site.

For 21 years, Charlie’s Bazaar sold home decor, clothing, bags and jewelry. Shortly before the fire, Vernlund and her business partner, Melody Warren, installed a new roof, painted inside and had just received their spring inventory.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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