AROUND TOWN: Memory Fireworks expanding
Nothing says "America" quite like fireworks and large shopping centers. In that spirit, Memory Fireworks is expanding its Grand Forks store to 9,000 square feet of retail space. "When people walk in, they're going to see something that's the bigg...
Nothing says "America" quite like fireworks and large shopping centers.
In that spirit, Memory Fireworks is expanding its Grand Forks store to 9,000 square feet of retail space.
"When people walk in, they're going to see something that's the biggest display of fireworks in probably all of North Dakota," said Ron Knutson, who manages Memory Fireworks locations in the eastern part of the state.
Memory Fireworks was previously using about half of that building near Grand Forks International Airport. The business had considered adding a second location here, but decided to expand into some unused space at its existing store.
Knutson expects this year to be especially busy because the Fourth of July lands on a Saturday.
"If you can double the square feet and add some tills, it just makes it easier shopping," he said. Knutson said the expansion should be done within two weeks.
Businesses moving into Ecolab building
Companies are quickly signing up for office space in the former Ecolab building in south Grand Forks.
The Koble Group, REM North Dakota, Thrivent Financial and KBM Inc. have all signed leases for the WestChase Office Park, a real estate broker said this week.
Ecolab announced in 2012 that it would close its Grand Forks operations and end most of the 144 full-time positions there. Fargo-based developers purchased the building last year with the intent of turning it into multi-tenant office space.
The former Ecolab building, now called the WestChase Office Park, is located at 3535 31st St. S. in Grand Forks.
Dexter Albrecht, a community engagement leader for Thrivent, said the new 3,000-square-foot office should be operational later this summer. Thrivent previously had office space next to the Grand Forks Public Library, but now has employees temporarily in UND's Center for Innovation.
"It's a bigger office space than we used to have," Albrecht said of the WestChase space. "And it's kind of like a regional hub office for us too. We have offices in a lot of smaller towns around the area."
Even with the first four tenants, the building will still have available space, said Jeremy Horst, a commercial broker with Goldmark Schlossman.
New taxi service
A new taxi service has popped up in Grand Forks.
Joe Howard relocated from Minot and launched Taxi Joe here about a week ago. He said a majority of his business involved driving workers to Oil Patch cities like Williston, Stanley and Tioga.
A drop in oil prices and fewer workers in the western part of the state had a "serious devastating effect on the revenue for my company," Howard said.
Howard said he plans to bring people to the Canadian border and beyond once he receives his passport now that he's in Grand Forks. He is also licensed for trips to the Grand Forks airport.