Monday, June 26, 2006

Newsbits: Civic Auditorium, more Wal-Marts, new strip mall tenant

A tenant for the Civic Auditorium?
Tu-Uyen had an article in Monday's paper about parking issues that the downtown community is facing. In it, he mentioned that more parking spaces near the Civic Auditorium could be in jeopardy because the city is talking with a potential tenant. Except for the potential loss of parking spaces, I think that this is great news. The Civic Auditorium has sat empty ever since the Alerus Center opened. I would be very happy to see it have a new life as a retail establishment or office building. Since I think we are in need of more stores downtown, I would love to see a store use the space. Maybe a small grocery store? How about a drug store? Perhaps we can get Tu-Uyen to tell us a bit more about what he knows regarding this potential tenant...

Wal-Mart may be adding more North Dakota stores...
Rumor has it that Wal-Mart is thinking about opening a new Supercenter in Bottineau, North Dakota. This isn't exactly Grand Forks-related news, but I think it does show that the retailer is probably planning more stores for the region. If a town of just 2,336 may be getting a Wal-Mart, what about towns like Grafton or Beulah-Hazen? The retailer does seem to be showing interest in smaller communities throughout the state than in the past. Please don't think that I am endorsing the spread of Wal-Mart just because I am mentioning it here...we've already been down that road recently. I just think that it is worth noting that Wal-Mart clearly is continuing to open more stores locally...can a second Grand Forks location be that far off? I really don't think so.

Locally-owned clothing store to open in new strip mall...
The new strip mall being built in front of Kohl's on 32nd Avenue will be the site of a new locally-owned women's clothing store. The store, which will be called "Bobbi's", will open in the so-called "On 32nd" strip mall this fall. The owner, Bobbi Beal, is the former manager of the Casual Corner women's clothing store in Columbia Mall. That store closed last year when the entire chain went out of business. Looks like Beal saw an opportunity to fill a void that was left after Casual Corner closed. It's nice to see more local businesses start up and it's nice to see one locate in a section of town that is otherwise filled with chains. I like seeing a mix of local and chain stores in Grand Forks.

7 comments:

Semireg said...

Maybe a small grocery store?

Amazing Grains! :-)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say that a rumored Wal-Mart in Bottineau is a sign that the retailer is looking into smaller towns. It's more of a strategic placement. Growing up not that far from the Bottineau/Rugby area, I knew of a lot of people who would go to Minot or Devils Lake just to get something from Wal-Mart. Placing a Wal-Mart in Bottineau is perfect for bringing business from Rugby, Rolette, Rolla, Dunseith, and Belcourt, as well as "the lake people" and International Music Campers headed to Dunseith who've forgotten some necessity. Most small towns simply can't boast of those kinds of surroundings, which I'm sure is something Wal-Mart has taken note of.

GrandForksGuy said...

Apparently, Wal-Mart first looked at both Dunseith and Belcourt before deciding on Bottineau. Word has it that any on-reservation store would have had to have employed 75% Native Americans.

Anonymous said...

I am from Bottineau, and have kept up on some of the rumor mill surrounding the Wal-Mart placement there. The reason Belcourt didn't get the nod is mentioned in GFG's post, as well as the fact that the tribe would not sell Wal-Mart the land, but instead wanted to lease Wal-Mart the land at a high price. Hearing of the placement in Bottineau shocked me, but is a little less shocking once I really think about the fact that a lot of tourists come through that area, as well as the 10,000 plus population on the Turle Mountain Reservation, which is less than a half-hour away.

Goddess Cassandra said...

From what I heard (and mind you, this may just be idle speculation, but I trust my source) Walmart wanted to come to Bottineau, Bottineau said no, and then they threatned to put in Dunseith, which would have effectively killed their businesses but no jobs whatsoever.

ben said...

I was in Bottineau last week...the Wal-Mart is plotted out and ready to go

JGS said...

Would like to add that GameStop in front of Wal-Mart is their second location in town. Interesting to see 3 stores owned by the same company all in the same stretch of roadway and all 3 very close.