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 discount store was one of three anchors at North Dakota's COLUMBIA MALL, which was a Dayton-Hudson development.

The single-level center 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. It encompassed 571,800 leasable square feet and housed fifty-three inline stores,

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 department store and 1-level (96,500 square foot) J.C. Penney. Charter tenants in the 20 million dollar 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 of COLUMBIA MALL was SOUTH FORKS PLAZA (1964) {1.2 mile northeast, also in Grand Forks}. This retail hub was renamed GRAND CITIES MALL in August 2001.

The only physical expansion ever done at 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 Sears construction project was accompanied by a 925 thousand dollar face lift, which included new flooring, restrooms and an update of the mall's exterior.

Soon after the completion of the renovation, a new retail rival came on the scene. GRAND FORKS MARKETPLACE {.3 of a mile southwest} snatched Target from COLUMBIA MALL. The new store opened on March 7, 2001.

The next anchor alteration at COLUMBIA MALL occurred early in August 2001, when Dayton's was rebranded as a Chicago-based Marshall Field's. This store morphed into a Macy's on 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 7-bay, Dakota Cafe Food Court was installed in existing mall space. The culinary complex opened for business November 3, 2005. There was talk of a 12-screen multiplex, that was supposed to replace the vacant Target. However, this 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.

An "anchors away" procession commenced in the late Twenty-tens. Macy's pulled the plug on their COLUMBIA MALL store in March 2017, followed by Sears, which went dark in September 2018.

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