Jump to content
SiouxSports.com Forum
UND Fan

Grand Forks Economy

Recommended Posts

UND Fan   

I live 1,800+ miles from GF so don't get up there too often. From reading the Herald daily and from other sources, it appears the GF economy is doing well. A couple of questions about Columbia Mall:

- Is Scheels still planning to move into the mall or has that already happened? Does anyone know why they waited a year or two before making the move?

- How is the mall doing otherwise? With a good economy and a lot of Canadian traffic, you would think it would be doing well. Are there many/any open store fronts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbia Mall is a blight on the city of Grand Forks. Seriously. How on earth we can have the amount of retail traffic from up north combined with the cold weather and ZERO investment in the mall on the part of its owners and tenants is beyond me. I don't have a hard occupancy number, but a quick stroll through would tell you all you need to know.

Food Court - F

Interior updates and quality of materials - F

Variety of stores (other than Food Court) - D+ (gotten marginally better over the past few years, but we still lack a number of big names)

Parking lot - FFFFFFFFFF (sorry...I was typing when I drove through one of the myriad potholes on the southeast corner of the lot)

I know that retail is a fickle subset of the economy, and that the notion of a 'mall' is rapidly changing (huge outdoor complexes with upscale stores are infiltrating traditional cold weather locales), but we should have AT LEAST the caliber of mall that Fargo has. Heavily leased, bright, airy. Heck, I think West Acres has put more money in its play area in the past five years than has been spent at all of Columbia.

Not to mention the perimeter, which also has a long way to go. The strips northeast of the mall are hardly awe-inspiring, and Space Aliens is still vacant. And more strips are being built along the 32nd corridor (see former Golden Corral) even though existing strips are not fully utilized. There is still prime space available between Noodles and Erbert & Gerbert. Lots of new, higher-end apartments on the property should translate into new and exciting retail and dining venues.

Relying on Scheels to save the day is a questionable strategy, although I am optimistically counting down the days. We definitely deserve a bigger and much better store, replete with coin-op shooting range and life-sized statues of presidents. GF and Columbia Mall need it to. Something has to shake the cobwebs loose in that abysmal, Soviet-era, depressing heck-hole.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbia Mall is a blight on the city of Grand Forks. Seriously. How on earth we can have the amount of retail traffic from up north combined with the cold weather and ZERO investment in the mall on the part of its owners and tenants is beyond me. I don't have a hard occupancy number, but a quick stroll through would tell you all you need to know.

Food Court - F

Interior updates and quality of materials - F

Variety of stores (other than Food Court) - D+ (gotten marginally better over the past few years, but we still lack a number of big names)

Parking lot - FFFFFFFFFF (sorry...I was typing when I drove through one of the myriad potholes on the southeast corner of the lot)

I know that retail is a fickle subset of the economy, and that the notion of a 'mall' is rapidly changing (huge outdoor complexes with upscale stores are infiltrating traditional cold weather locales), but we should have AT LEAST the caliber of mall that Fargo has. Heavily leased, bright, airy. Heck, I think West Acres has put more money in its play area in the past five years than has been spent at all of Columbia.

Not to mention the perimeter, which also has a long way to go. The strips northeast of the mall are hardly awe-inspiring, and Space Aliens is still vacant. And more strips are being built along the 32nd corridor (see former Golden Corral) even though existing strips are not fully utilized. There is still prime space available between Noodles and Erbert & Gerbert. Lots of new, higher-end apartments on the property should translate into new and exciting retail and dining venues.

Relying on Scheels to save the day is a questionable strategy, although I am optimistically counting down the days. We definitely deserve a bigger and much better store, replete with coin-op shooting range and life-sized statues of presidents. GF and Columbia Mall need it to. Something has to shake the cobwebs loose in that abysmal, Soviet-era, depressing heck-hole.

So how do you really feel about it ? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
108498   

Living in Cheyenne Wyoming and seeing malls in the surrounding states, I can honestly say Grand Forks has a great mall. Growing up I always liked it, but after returning this past December to tour UND; I came to find out how much I love the mall. There was hardly any open space compaired to many malls; which, always seem to have unused rooms. I can not say I like the food court or not. I was more shocked when I say it. When I was growing up the Country Buffet was in the same location, so I was not expecting to see the food court. Blackheart I would say you are way out of line. People in Grand Forks should come see Cheyenne's mall, better yet go see the Fort Colons, Loveland or Greeley mall. Then tell me The mall is bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reconsider? What's to reconsider? The OP inquired about the state of the Mall IN LIGHT OF the local economy and the crush of Canadian dollars being infused into the area. Given those two factors alone, Columbia Mall is a huge disappointment.

Never been to malls in WY or CO, but let's pick a few comps closer to home. Fargo? Check. Duluth? Check. Sioux Falls? Check. St. Cloud? Check. And most of those places do not boast the robust economy or influx of tourist dollars enjoyed by GF. I will gladly concede that your examples are utter, complete, and total dumps. (Sorry to the hardworking men and women in those towns who call the malls 'home'.) But would you care to refute any of my contentions with actual observations?

Can anyone not drinking the Chamber of Commerce Kool-Aid honestly state that GF's mall is commensurate with the strength of the economy or with the legions of Canadians who come here with shopping as their raison d'etre. Even the staunchest anti-Fargo people on this board have to admit that Fargo is winning the retail and restaurant wars.

It seems like one can't even rant without the nice cops raining sunshine on the gloom. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dmksioux   

I was driving down 42nd st this morning and as I was driving by the new "Strip mall" next to the AE2s building, I saw they were advertising that a Tim Horton's will be opening soon. I know it's been mentioned that GF would be a good location due to our proximity to Canada and the hordes of Canadians that visit every weekend. Anyone ever been to a Horton's before?

EDIT: Also, it appears as though another building is going up directly south of AE2s, between the new strip mall and the apartments to the east. Does anyone know what that's going to be? I know the structure has steel in it so is it another strip mall or a restaurant maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
puck   

I was driving down 42nd st this morning and as I was driving by the new "Strip mall" next to the AE2s building, I saw they were advertising that a Tim Horton's will be opening soon. I know it's been mentioned that GF would be a good location due to our proximity to Canada and the hordes of Canadians that visit every weekend. Anyone ever been to a Horton's before?

EDIT: Also, it appears as though another building is going up directly south of AE2s, between the new strip mall and the apartments to the east. Does anyone know what that's going to be? I know the structure has steel in it so is it another strip mall or a restaurant maybe?

I believe that the ground floor will be commercial (ICON Architects) and 2-3 floors of apartments above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UND1983   

I was driving down 42nd st this morning and as I was driving by the new "Strip mall" next to the AE2s building, I saw they were advertising that a Tim Horton's will be opening soon. I know it's been mentioned that GF would be a good location due to our proximity to Canada and the hordes of Canadians that visit every weekend. Anyone ever been to a Horton's before?

EDIT: Also, it appears as though another building is going up directly south of AE2s, between the new strip mall and the apartments to the east. Does anyone know what that's going to be? I know the structure has steel in it so is it another strip mall or a restaurant maybe?

I believe that is an office building, not 100% sure but that is what I was told. The building along 42nd is the strip mall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was driving down 42nd st this morning and as I was driving by the new "Strip mall" next to the AE2s building, I saw they were advertising that a Tim Horton's will be opening soon. I know it's been mentioned that GF would be a good location due to our proximity to Canada and the hordes of Canadians that visit every weekend. Anyone ever been to a Horton's before?

EDIT: Also, it appears as though another building is going up directly south of AE2s, between the new strip mall and the apartments to the east. Does anyone know what that's going to be? I know the structure has steel in it so is it another strip mall or a restaurant maybe?

Tim Hortons? for real?? Hadn't heard that. I was just telling someone that would be a great idea ti get one here given all the Canadian visitors. Tim Hortons is great. Great coffee and the best donuts wou will ever have!! I hope that rumor is true!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dmksioux   

Tim Hortons? for real?? Hadn't heard that. I was just telling someone that would be a great idea ti get one here given all the Canadian visitors. Tim Hortons is great. Great coffee and the best donuts wou will ever have!! I hope that rumor is true!!

It's more than a rumor since their electronic advertising board on the building says "Tim Horton's" coming soon. Lots of development in that area this summer. I would have to guess we will be seeing a few restaurnt/bars opening soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there must be a huge influx of people coming into Graqnd Forks, because with all the flippin new aprtment complexes going up you would think that GF is going to double in size in the next few years. especially on the southend, everywhere you look there is a new complex going up. not good for home values.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nodak651   

there must be a huge influx of people coming into Graqnd Forks, because with all the flippin new aprtment complexes going up you would think that GF is going to double in size in the next few years. especially on the southend, everywhere you look there is a new complex going up. not good for home values.

Aren't people complaining that they aren't affordable though? I live in a !@#$ house near campus and its being rented out for 1500 next semester with multiple offers. Ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there must be a huge influx of people coming into Graqnd Forks, because with all the flippin new aprtment complexes going up you would think that GF is going to double in size in the next few years. especially on the southend, everywhere you look there is a new complex going up. not good for home values.

Apartment occupancy has been running at least 96-98% through the end of last year (I haven't heard more recent numbers). Anything over 94 or 95% is considered full. It was very difficult to find a 1 bedroom apartment last fall. A friend was looking for his daughter and it took weeks to find one. That's why apartment rents keep going up. Most houses sell very quickly in town because there is a shortage, especially in the lower price ranges. The business community is trying to attract more workers. There are more open jobs in Grand Forks County than there are people that could fill them. The housing shortage is one of the issues in attracting new workers to town. Home values are not in danger any time soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there must be a huge influx of people coming into Graqnd Forks, because with all the flippin new aprtment complexes going up you would think that GF is going to double in size in the next few years. especially on the southend, everywhere you look there is a new complex going up. not good for home values.

Bologna.

More potential buyers in the market means more demand. Construction seldom keeps up with demand; and you said it yourself: apartments are going in, not houses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbia Mall is a blight on the city of Grand Forks. Seriously. How on earth we can have the amount of retail traffic from up north combined with the cold weather and ZERO investment in the mall on the part of its owners and tenants is beyond me. I don't have a hard occupancy number, but a quick stroll through would tell you all you need to know.

Food Court - F

Interior updates and quality of materials - F

Variety of stores (other than Food Court) - D+ (gotten marginally better over the past few years, but we still lack a number of big names)

Parking lot - FFFFFFFFFF (sorry...I was typing when I drove through one of the myriad potholes on the southeast corner of the lot)

I know that retail is a fickle subset of the economy, and that the notion of a 'mall' is rapidly changing (huge outdoor complexes with upscale stores are infiltrating traditional cold weather locales), but we should have AT LEAST the caliber of mall that Fargo has. Heavily leased, bright, airy. Heck, I think West Acres has put more money in its play area in the past five years than has been spent at all of Columbia.

Not to mention the perimeter, which also has a long way to go. The strips northeast of the mall are hardly awe-inspiring, and Space Aliens is still vacant. And more strips are being built along the 32nd corridor (see former Golden Corral) even though existing strips are not fully utilized. There is still prime space available between Noodles and Erbert & Gerbert. Lots of new, higher-end apartments on the property should translate into new and exciting retail and dining venues.

Relying on Scheels to save the day is a questionable strategy, although I am optimistically counting down the days. We definitely deserve a bigger and much better store, replete with coin-op shooting range and life-sized statues of presidents. GF and Columbia Mall need it to. Something has to shake the cobwebs loose in that abysmal, Soviet-era, depressing heck-hole.

Holy gripe but I am in complete agreement with you. Those big outdoor shopping things you are referring to are called lifestyle centers. Here is a link to one that I think will be real nice. http://downtownsummerlin.com/ It is on the far west side of Las Vegas next to the Red Rock Casino. There is a lot of money around this place. None of the stores here are unique. But there are none of these stores even close by. The closest are at the Meadows but that is a ways from here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there must be a huge influx of people coming into Graqnd Forks, because with all the flippin new aprtment complexes going up you would think that GF is going to double in size in the next few years. especially on the southend, everywhere you look there is a new complex going up. not good for home values.

Wait til construction starts on the new fertilizer plant N of GF. Two or three thousand workers looking for housing.

Add the Grand Sky UAS park on top of it, and we'll see rental costs. approaching oil patch costs

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/northrop-grumman-set-to-sign-lease-with-grand-sky/2014/05/16/70889c78-dcda-11e3-a837-8835df6c12c4_story.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Columbia Mall is a blight on the city of Grand Forks. Seriously. How on earth we can have the amount of retail traffic from up north combined with the cold weather and ZERO investment in the mall on the part of its owners and tenants is beyond me. I don't have a hard occupancy number, but a quick stroll through would tell you all you need to know.

Food Court - F

Interior updates and quality of materials - F

Variety of stores (other than Food Court) - D+ (gotten marginally better over the past few years, but we still lack a number of big names)

Parking lot - FFFFFFFFFF (sorry...I was typing when I drove through one of the myriad potholes on the southeast corner of the lot)

I know that retail is a fickle subset of the economy, and that the notion of a 'mall' is rapidly changing (huge outdoor complexes with upscale stores are infiltrating traditional cold weather locales), but we should have AT LEAST the caliber of mall that Fargo has. Heavily leased, bright, airy. Heck, I think West Acres has put more money in its play area in the past five years than has been spent at all of Columbia.

Not to mention the perimeter, which also has a long way to go. The strips northeast of the mall are hardly awe-inspiring, and Space Aliens is still vacant. And more strips are being built along the 32nd corridor (see former Golden Corral) even though existing strips are not fully utilized. There is still prime space available between Noodles and Erbert & Gerbert. Lots of new, higher-end apartments on the property should translate into new and exciting retail and dining venues.

Relying on Scheels to save the day is a questionable strategy, although I am optimistically counting down the days. We definitely deserve a bigger and much better store, replete with coin-op shooting range and life-sized statues of presidents. GF and Columbia Mall need it to. Something has to shake the cobwebs loose in that abysmal, Soviet-era, depressing heck-hole.

Scheels is putting in $13 million remodeling the old Target. Will be interesting to see

What ever happened to the talk about Fleet Farm and Home Depot building on Gateway?

A Life Style Center could go in at 47th Ave S, if they ever build a overpass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy gripe but I am in complete agreement with you. Those big outdoor shopping things you are referring to are called lifestyle centers. Here is a link to one that I think will be real nice. http://downtownsumme...merlin.com/ It is on the far west side of Las Vegas next to the Red Rock Casino. There is a lot of money around this place. None of the stores here are unique. But there are none of these stores even close by. The closest are at the Meadows but that is a ways from here.

Thanks for dusting this one off, Werewolf. I had forgotten I wrote it.

Scheels is putting in $13 million remodeling the old Target. Will be interesting to see

With Scheels nearing completion and reality, this is a valid conversation to have. Of course, it's a good news/bad news thing, right? Great news for Columbia Mall and the key to a possible jump-start and renaissance. Not so good for the present location, which leaves a big footprint to fill. See, e.g., Exhibits A-Z: dozens of former Wal-Mart stores around the country abandoned for SuperCenters, the former still sitting vacant 5-10 years later.

Which leads me conveniently to the next point…we need somebody with vision and capital. The current Scheels store could be a great project. Think indoor entertainment venue. Think Dave & Busters. Think Incredible Pizza Company. How many putt-putt holes are there in the Forks? NONE. How many go-cart tracks? NONE. How many laser tag arenas? NONE. How many batting cages? A couple. How many arcades? A couple. How long was this past winter? SIX MONTHS! Anybody else smell opportunity here?

IMHO, Grand Forks needs a quality of living boost, and the Arts Corridor alone is not going to cut it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for dusting this one off, Werewolf. I had forgotten I wrote it.

With Scheels nearing completion and reality, this is a valid conversation to have. Of course, it's a good news/bad news thing, right? Great news for Columbia Mall and the key to a possible jump-start and renaissance. Not so good for the present location, which leaves a big footprint to fill. See, e.g., Exhibits A-Z: dozens of former Wal-Mart stores around the country abandoned for SuperCenters, the former still sitting vacant 5-10 years later.

Which leads me conveniently to the next point…we need somebody with vision and capital. The current Scheels store could be a great project. Think indoor entertainment venue. Think Dave & Busters. Think Incredible Pizza Company. How many putt-putt holes are there in the Forks? NONE. How many go-cart tracks? NONE. How many laser tag arenas? NONE. How many batting cages? A couple. How many arcades? A couple. How long was this past winter? SIX MONTHS! Anybody else smell opportunity here?

IMHO, Grand Forks needs a quality of living boost, and the Arts Corridor alone is not going to cut it.

Some great ideas there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait til construction starts on the new fertilizer plant N of GF. Two or three thousand workers looking for housing.

Add the Grand Sky UAS park on top of it, and we'll see rental costs. approaching oil patch costs

http://www.washingto...12c4_story.html

One of the ideas floated has been to set up a man camp for construction workers while they are building the new fertilizer plant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×