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Gateway Mall Close To Scoring Major Tenant

Gateway Fashion Mall
Gateway Fashion Mall
CVS/pharmacy vacated its long-time space (as Osco Drug) at Gateway Mall in February 2009.

CVS/pharmacy vacated its long-time space (as Osco Drug) at Gateway Mall in February 2009.

The embattled owner of Gateway Fashion Mall, Raymond Arjmand, states that he is close to signing a new lease for a combined 70,000 square feet, which will include both the former CVS/pharmacy space and Conlin’s Furniture anchor space when the retailer relocates in December. Arjmand has also announced other new leases, and that long-time tenants Rock N’ 50’s Cafe and Sears (an original tenant) have also renewed their leases. These announcements are the first good news in quite some time for the shopping center, which celebrated its 30th Anniversary last month.

Since the deal is not yet finalized, Arjmand hasn’t yet revealed who the supposed tenant is. Likely candidates include Savers, Toys R Us, and Gordmans, all of which have current locations in Fargo and seem to be popular amongst Bismarckans who visit Fargo. If I were to put money down, however, my bet would be on Burlington Coat Factory.

Another likely contender is Gander Mountain, who also currently has a store in Fargo. This would certainly give Fargo-based Scheels greatly added competition, in a city where sporting and hunting are common ways of life for most. Gander Mountain’s two largest shareholders recently announced intentions to take the company private, which means their business plans are harder to anticipate right now. Sportsman’s Warehouse had previously stated they were considering opening a store in Bismarck, that is until it closed its Fargo store earlier this year.

Ever since Arjmand purchased the center in 2006, he has stated his intentions to bring Macy’s to Gateway Fashion Mall, despite that the retailer chose not to convert the Marshall Fields store at Kirkwood Mall into Macys upon purchasing the company from May Department Stores in 2005. Given their current financial situation, it seems unlikely that the new retailer will be a Macy’s.

Whoever the new tenant is, if this comes to fruitrition, it will certainly be welcomed news not only for Gateway Fashion Mall, but for the Bismarck-Mandan area, especially considering that the former Home Depot building continues to sit empty more than a year later, with not even a rumor of a possible new tenant.