Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.
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FARGO—McKenzie Kjos looked at what the community lacked when she picked the concept for her first business. The 24-year-old Fargo native who always loved fashion grew up telling people she'd open her own store. For a long time, she assumed she'd get around to it later in life after working for someone else.
FARGO—Kevin Bartram could see potential in a "pretty depressing space" in the midst of a former industrial hub, and his vision is already creating new business opportunities in an old part of town. The large brick building that's stood for more than a century at 1632 1st Ave. N. didn't seem like much when he bought it two years ago. The roof was ruined, modern utilities were nonexistent and the structure that was several decades past its prime sat close to railroad tracks.
GLYNDON, Minn.—A large field that was farmland not long ago now has the seeds for a different crop—the community's first new residential development in more than a decade. Realtor Kelly Richards, who was born and raised in the small town of 1,394 east of Fargo, said he knew Glyndon was ready for more houses. He said it's about 17 years since work started on the last two residential developments there, the upscale Southcreek and the more affordable Centennial on the southwestern edge of town.
FARGO—Even as a "retailpocalypse" prompted by a shift to online shopping wipes out other stores, Hailee England isn't worried about the new business she manages in West Acres Shopping Center. The Fargo mall's newest retailer, Zumiez, opened Friday, Sept. 1, taking over the former Vanity space. The parent company of Vanity was headquartered in Fargo until it filed for bankruptcy protection this spring and closed more than 100 stores across the country.
FARGO—A northern Minnesota toy company will open a store in Fargo's West Acres Shopping Center this fall. Officials with the mall, 3902 13th Ave. S., announced Thursday, Sept. 7, the upcoming addition of Legacy Toys east of center court across from an Express store. A news release said West Acres will find Legacy Toys a larger permanent space in the near future.
FARGO—Riley Bader couldn't decide between cosmetology and fashion as she was finishing high school, so she's doing both. After learning the trade at Josef's School of Hair Design in Fargo, Bader moved back to her hometown of Bismarck to start doing hair. But her "obsession" with fashion didn't end there, and the 21-year-old recently opened her second women's clothing store in the state. PrimRose Boutique's Fargo store, 616 Main Ave., opened in mid-July, setting up shop in a leased space that formerly housed technology company Codelation.
FARGO—A local restaurant is getting some online love for its response to people digging through the trash. Rachel Nistler posted a photo to Twitter on Sunday, Aug. 27, of a sign that she said made her "very impressed" with Little Caesars, 1020 19th Ave. N. The sign is addressed to "the person going through our trash for their next meal," but it's the rest of the message that earned Nistler's post nearly 150 retweets and 900 likes by Tuesday, Aug. 29, morning.
FARGO—Best Buy here could soon make a short move to the former Sears store—but the potential change also raises questions about what West Acres Shopping Center might do to redevelop other properties it owns in the area. Plans entered into the city's Inspections Department system Tuesday, Aug. 22, show a $1 million project set for the former Sears that opened in 1972 as an anchor of West Acres, 3902 13th Ave. S. Sears closed in late March.
FARGO—A restaurant opening downtown late this year will be a familiar name in the neighborhood—it's long been in business just three blocks away. Wasabi will move into the middle portion of the three-tenant main floor of the former Metro Drug building, 123 Broadway N., and face Second Avenue North. Dave Scheer, a business partner with restaurant owner Keng Dechawuth, said Wasabi, which they opened at 623 NP Ave. in 2009, needs a better space. But shutting down for several months to remodel the current location would be too expensive, he said.
FARGO—Pete Sabo gets the same question three or four times a day: When's it going to open? Ever since his Bison Turf bar, 1211 N. University Drive, suffered heavy fire damage July 22, 2016, longtime patrons call and ask for the latest opening date. His answer has been the same for more than a year. "As fast as possible," he said.