Moorhead Center Mall store owners cautiously optimistic about city hall sale
MOORHEAD — The Moorhead City Council is in the first stages of selling city hall and city-owned property near the mall to a construction company to try to bring more business to the city's downtown.
The sale to Roers Development came as a bit of a surprise to business owners in the Moorhead Center Mall, including Violet Deilke, the owner of the Centre for Hair and Wellness.
"The possibility for the mall area would be awesome, but I think it's very important that everybody takes a look at each individual business," she said.
The plan calls for Roers to redevelop the property in hopes of revitalizing downtown, but the store owners are worried about the impacts. They worry the project would hurt stores in the mall, some who own their own space.
Other store owners agree with Deilke, saying that although change could be a good thing, they worry about the transparency of the deal. They said it will be important for businesses to stick together as the process moves along.
"We just want to make certain that we work with these businesses, so they're able to stay in Moorhead," Deilke said.
Roers said they don't intend to do a takeover of the mall or do buyouts as part of the city hall deal, and said they are willing to talk to store owners individually to discuss any concerns they have with the project.
The deal to sell is all but done, but what isn't set in stone is how and when the changes will take effect. City council members said it's the start of creating a very different look for downtown.
"We don't know what it's going to look like right now, we don't know what's going to be there, we don't know what it's going to look like or anything at this point because it's all happening right now," said Heidi Durand, a member of the council.
Since the sale was discussed in private, mall store owners say they have just one suggestion for city leaders if they're thinking of making more changes.
"(Make sure) the citizens of Moorhead are kept in the loop as we go along," Deilke said. "No surprises."