COLUMBIA MALL
32nd Avenue South and South Columbia Road
Grand Forks, North Dakota

Minneapolis' Dayton-Hudson Corporation opened its first shopping mall-connected Target in 1978. The location was one of three original anchors in Grand Forks, North Dakota's COLUMBIA MALL; a Dayton-Hudson development.

The single-level center, which encompassed 571,800 leasable square feet and fifty-three inline stores, was built on 62.2 acres, located 2.6 miles southwest of downtown Grand Forks. The mall's official grand opening took place August 2, 1978.

In addition to its 1-level (120,300 square foot) Target, COLUMBIA MALL was anchored by a 1-level (99,100 square foot) Dayton's and 1-level (96,500 square foot) J.C. Penney. Charter tenants in the 20 million dollar shopping venue included Buttrey's Drug, County Seat, Foxmoor Casuals, Seeger's Fashion Center and a boutique-type, St. Cloud, Minnesota-based Herberger's.

For several years, the only commercial competitor for COLUMBIA MALL was SOUTH FORKS PLAZA (1964) {1.2 mile northeast, also in Grand Forks}. This retail hub, which eventually became known as GRAND CITIES MALL, was a much smaller operation. It had been relegated to secondary status by the regional-class COLUMBIA MALL complex.

The only physical expansion of COLUMBIA MALL involved the addition of Sears. The 1-level (108,400 square foot) store, which moved from a 50,000 square foot location at SOUTH FORKS PLAZA, opened August 12, 2000.

This addition increased the GLA of COLUMBIA MALL to approximately 680,200 square feet. The construction project was accompanied by a 925 thousand dollar mall facelift, which included new flooring, restrooms and exterior touches.

GRAND FORKS MARKETPLACE {.3 of a mile southwest} opened in 2001. This new power center snatched the COLUMBIA MALL Target. It re-opened, at GRAND FORKS MARKETPLACE, March 7, 2001, as a SuperT-type operation.

The next anchor alteration occurred early in August 2001, when the COLUMBIA MALL Dayton's was rebranded as a Chicago-based Marshall Field's. This store morphed into a Macy's September 9, 2006.

The Target (nee' Dayton-Hudson) Corporation had sold its interest in COLUMBIA MALL to Barrington, Illinois-based GK development in April 2004. A 2.5 million dollar rehab of the property was soon in the works.

A new Children's Play Area (in the old Target Court) was dedicated in August 2005. The first store in the 7-bay, Dakota Cafe Food Court (which had been installed in previously-existing mall space) opened for business November 3 of the same year. There was also talk of a 12-screen multiplex, that was supposed to replace the vacant Target. However, the theater never materialized.

News surfaced in 2013 indicating that Fargo, North Dakota's Scheels All Sports chain had plans to renovate the old Target building and open a 1-level (120,000 square foot) store. The official grand opening was held June 28, 2014. Macy's pulled the plug on their COLUMBIA MALL store in early 2017, as a facet of a sixty-eight store mass shuttering.

Sources:

"Columbia Mall" article on Wikipedia
Grand Forks County, North Dakota property tax assessor website
www.cinematreasures.org
www.shopcolumbiamall.com
http://www.gkdevelopment.com