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New location, same business

Main Street Auto Sales moves into former Albert Lea Pizza Hut

By Evelyn Seffinga

The old Pizza Hut building has new owners and has replaced pizza inventory with automobiles.

Main Street Auto Sales has transformed and occupied a new location for its existing business at 1725 E. Main St. in Albert Lea.

The business’ previous location, 319 W. Main St., was too small for the goals of owner Jay Wangsness. After 20 years in construction and three years at the previous car lot, Main Street Auto Sales was ready for an expansion.

“My boys are graduating from college this year and wanted to go into the car business,” Wangsness said Friday about the relocation.

Although Main Street Auto Sales has been selling cars throughout the renovation process, the business plans to host a hard grand opening in May, Wangsness said.

Wangsness mostly made over the old building himself, he said. Food counters were removed and offices were added for utility purposes. Wangsness added personal touches to the remodel by building rustic double doors and lining the freshly painted walls with vintage automobile memorabilia.

As for business, the model has not changed for Main Street Auto Sales. The address has changed but the business has stayed the same.

“We want to make sure people aren’t backwards in their loans when they buy cars,” Wagsness said. “I mean, that’s the problem that we see with most of the people that bring cars in here and want to trade them in — they are $5,000 backwards in them.

“Our main focus in business is to try to keep cars at a lower market than anybody else. We try to keep our cars under book and sell quality product.”

About Evelyn Seffinga

Evelyn Seffinga covers education and arts and culture for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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