Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Shops at the Aurora

The current commercial growth on the far reaches of South Washington Street is apparently set to continue. In addition to the new Aurora Hospital which should soon start construction in the Aurora Medical Park, a new strip mall called The Shops at the Aurora will be built just north of the Medical Park campus. Construction on the new mall could begin this fall.

This new development is in addition to the other ongoing commercial developments across the street from the Aurora complex. Currently, the Homestead Grove development features a two-story office building, a strip mall, and a bank. A second strip mall and another financial institution are planned for the near future. Also, a new Valley Dairy convenience store is under construction in the area and a new Wells Fargo bank is planned. A set of new senior citizen residential communities called The View and Maple View will also soon be constructed in the neighborhood.

Lots of strip mall spots to fill...get ready for the Subways, cell phone stores, discount hair salons, and tanning clubs! Actually, I'm hoping we'll start to get some interesting tenants for some of these new strip malls around town...I'm crossing my fingers. I've heard about a couple of interesting restaurants that may set up shop in some of the new strip malls...guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Anonymous said...

also on the way to town are a littleceasar's/subway at the old hardee's on gateway, a denny's next to wendy's on 32nd ave s, apartments for the old YWCA across from central high school. This is according to the city's intranet site for applications for building permits. Also there are a ton of rennovations/additions at altru, and expansions and renovations of several other buisinesses.

river man said...

Grand Forks is very much alive and growing, I guess that's a good thing. Its cool driving around town to view new commercial and residential construction. It's also cool looking at computer models of planned construction we see in the paper and other sources now and then.

I know we have a lot of regional or local businesses, but it seems the national chains and franchises, such as the Subways, the Starbucks, the McDonalds, the Wal-Marts, the Texas Roadhouses, the Best Buys, etc., make up the majority of businesses in town. Personally, I'd like to see more local businesses expand in town.

Going slightly off topic, another thing I'd like to see in Grand Forks businesses and businesses aroung the country do is to give their workers a better wage and benefits. Currently I work at a local Subway and I only make $6.25/ hour with no medical benefits. I applied at a Starbucks, and their wage was only slightly better at $6.60/hour with some medical benefits. I believe such businesses can do a lot better than that in giving their employees better compensation. We are a country of wealth, but more and more I only see 10% wealthy people live extravagant lifes, 60% substantial middle class living modestly, and an equally substantial 30% of people living substard lives. Among that 30% inlude a significant number of labor class workers, low wage service workers, the homeless, and others. (These percentages are somewhat accurate, based on my findings in researching this area, but not based on a scientifc poll). By the way I work hard, even for low pay, its just the way I am. So, it's good for a towns and cities to grow in residential and commercial population. Along with this economic growth, I believe it is also equally important to see better wages and benefits for those at the bottom. And the recent mininum wage hike isn't cutting it. Just some of my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

river man,
you seem like a bright guy...are you sure you're not a student also? That to me is a little different than a person working full time at $6.75/hr. If you are not a student, go to the industrial park (Cirrus, LM GLassfiber, etc.) where they are literally begging for workers, and paying twice as much as you are making at Subway. - with the benefits that are so nice to have.

river man said...

No, I'm not a current student. I have only a partial college education. When I moved here three years ago, I first went to UND to finish my education, but didn't have favorable results, so I had to get back into work. I spent two years working at Simplot and my ending wage, $12.69/hr was twice as much as I'm making now at $6.25. I was fired from Simplot two months ago, so I had to find another job. In some ways it doesn't make sense to work for for the rate I'm working for now. I know I'll have to find a second part time job or even a full time job to meet my own personal financial goals. I like working at Subway for now. First, it gives me some money, second, I like the people I work with, third, it gives me a chance to build and fine tune customer relation skills, and finally I get a free meal. Sure, it would be nice to be making 8, 9, 10 or more an hour plus medical beneifits. After I prove myself a little bit, maybe I could challenge the local Subway managers and owners to provide a better starting wage and to challenge them to find a way to provide good health insurance for its employees. At this point, I don't even know if the managers and assistant managers get medical beneifits, although, I assume they do. I know a few people are tired of the growing number of Subways in town, but they do provide a healthier alternative to other fast food places in town. And with my proposed idea of suggesting better compensation, I believe it would also boost the local Subways reputaions, although it's good right now, it can still has room to improve. These are my thoughts anyway. Comments anybody?

ben said...

river man...good luck, as you are swimming against the current in this town! We all know that wages and benefits are difficult for employers to offer to all part-time employees, especially in a restaurant or retail service environment where profit margins are not what they are in manufacturing or professional service markets (such as accounting, law, etc). If you are making $6.75/hr out of protest, I guess that is your choice, and I wish you luck with your goals. You would be a very interesting guy to sit down and talk to, in any event!

Anonymous said...

Will the Shops at the Aurora be run by the First Wives Club?