County holding online auction of waterfront properties

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Land & Minerals Department • 320 West Second Street, Suite 302 • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2606 •

Jason Meyer
Deputy Director



February 26, 2021


Jason Meyer, Deputy Director



County to hold online auction of waterfront properties from former shoreland lease program

St. Louis County is holding an online auction for properties from its former shoreland lease program. The auction is open now on with bidding open until March 11 at 11 a.m. It features 11 properties located on Elbow Lake, Bear Island Lake and Bear Island River. A catalog highlighting the properties can be found at


Properties from the former shoreland lease program are unique from other tax forfeited properties that the county auctions because they involve two prices. The first is the price of the land, which is the starting bid and can be bid up. Additionally, there is a fixed price for the cabins and other improvements owned by the former leaseholder. As a condition of the sale, the winning bidder must agree to pay the improvements price to the former leaseholder.


The St. Louis County Board discontinued the shoreland lease program in 2012. Leaseholders at the time were given the option to purchase the land they'd been leasing at market value, to relinquish the lease to the county for sale, or to continue leasing for the lifetime of the leaseholder. St. Louis County had been offering the relinquished properties for sale through it's regular auctions of tax forfeited properties, but is now holding an auction specifically for these former shoreland lease program properties.


Within St. Louis County there are nearly 900,000 acres of tax forfeited land, which the County's Land and Minerals Department is responsible for managing. Most of the land is maintained for resource management, however, the county is working to sell parcels that are not planned for management as a way to encourage development and increase the property tax base.


For more information about former shoreland lease lot sales, or to subscribe to receive email notifications about updates and future sales, visit or call the Land and Minerals Department at (218) 726-2606.

shoreland lease book cover

A catalog showing the 11 properties for sale can be found at