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California company buys Macy's space in Grand Forks, finds potential tenant

California property management company Joy 2001 has purchased the Macy's space at Columbia Mall in Grand Forks. April Baumgarten / Forum news Service

GRAND FORKS—A California property management company is in talks about bringing a possible tenant to the Macy's space at Columbia Mall in Grand Forks, an executive said.

Ownership of the 99,000-square-foot building was transferred Jan. 9 to Joy 2001 Inc. of Downey, California, according to the Grand Forks County records. Macy's sold the space—along with other properties it owns across the country— last month during an online auction for $396,666.

Joy 2001 is working with a potential tenant to take over the space, company President Jose Gonzalez said Wednesday. He declined to identify the possible tenant or lay out a timeframe for when the interested party could move in, adding Joy 2001 wants to do its "due diligence" in finding the right business for the property.

It's unclear if the space would hold one or more tenants or what type of business would move in.

It's been a year since Macy's announced it would close its Grand Forks location after being a tenant anchor for the mall since 2006. The store closed in March as its parent company initiated "a series of actions to streamline its store portfolio, intensify cost efficiency efforts and execute its real estate strategy," according to a news release. Macy's has struggled to compete with online retailers in recent years.

Other major retailers with property in North Dakota and Minnesota also have seen closings. Kmart plans to close its locations in Thief River Falls and Devils Lake this year, and Sears is closing several stores in two states, including in Fargo and Bismarck. Thief River Falls also lost its J.C. Penney in September.

A sign at the former Macy's space in Grand Forks says "for sale or lease." Gonzalez said he would release information on developments regarding the building at the appropriate time.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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