Bradley leaving downtown North St. Paul; three storefronts will be open

A fixture on North St. Paul’s main street for 12 years, Greg Bradley is finally moving out.

Bradley, who owns the building at 2533-2535 East Seventh Ave., has hosted businesses in its three suites ranging from a plumbing fixtures showroom to retail motorcycle accessories and clothing, a succession of cafés and snack shops, a knitting shop, a collectibles store and a portrait studio.

In an interview at “The Leather Viper,” Bradley’s motorcycle-gear store, he confirmed a brief report in the North St. Paul City Council minutes: the building has been foreclosed on.

Bradley says he tried multiple approaches to save the building. However, events seemed to conspire against him.

“The economy here in North St. Paul went bad before it went bad in the rest of the country,” he says. “I made all the payments but then the balloon payment came due.”

Other factors: his original loan was from Washington County Bank, which reorganized as Prosperan in 2007 and failed in 2009. Bradley said Alerus, which took over Prosperan and the loan, estimated he still owed $280,000 on the 10,000-square-foot building.

Bradley blames the city for many of his struggles, saying he requested tax deferrals in order to repair some of the code problems city staff were citing, “but they wouldn’t even talk to me.”

City Council member Terry Furlong says he recalls talking to Bradley at a gathering of downtown businesses a few years ago, but most of Bradley’s concerns seemed to have been with past frictions with the city.

“I’ve made a lot of friends and have done work for everybody in town,” Bradley says. He’ll continue offering plumbing installation and repair as Bradley Plumbing, LLC, the business he started before moving to downtown.

—Holly Wenzel

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