Grand Forks city and economic development officials discussed Monday the future of a city-owned space that's currently rented by Internet retail giant Amazon.
Amazon said earlier this year it would move its Grand Forks customer service employees to a home-based model. It also informed the city that it would exercise its right to terminate the lease at 1400 S. 48th St. three years early, after Sept. 30, 2018.
"(Amazon's) notice also stated a desire to work cooperatively on decommissioning and re-leasing the space," a city memo states.
The Grand Forks Growth Fund Committee voted to close its Monday meeting to the public to provide negotiating instructions to city staff on what the memo calls a proposed "opportunity to re-lease" the space.
The committee took no action after reopening the meeting.
Keith Lund, vice president of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., declined to elaborate on the new lease opportunity, citing the sensitivity of the negotiations.
In addition to its rent, Amazon is required to make a monthly payment for the property's fit-up costs, according to a letter sent to Amazon officials from City Attorney Howard Swanson. He noted that the balance owed on Sept. 30, 2018 is expected to be $375,644.30.
Amazon began occupying about 29,000 square feet of the building at 1400 S. 48th St. in 2011, according to the city staff memo. Cirrus Aircraft, a plane manufacturer, also operates out of that facility.
In early March, Seattle-based Amazon said it would offer its 100-plus customer service employees in Grand Forks the option to work from home. Company officials said it would offer employees greater flexibility, and emphasized that it wouldn't result in job losses.
The workforce shift isn't affecting Amazon's seller support staff, which operates out of another city-owned facility at 1550 S. 48th St., according to a city staff memo.