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City seeks tenant for space formerly leased by Amazon

A city-owned space that previously housed the local customer service staff of the tech giant Amazon is waiting for a new tenant. Keith Lund, vice president of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., said his organization has presented ...

The main entrance to the Grand Forks building that formerly held the Amazon customer service operations now sits empty across the street from another property rented by Amazon. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
The main entrance to the Grand Forks building that formerly held the Amazon customer service operations now sits empty across the street from another property rented by Amazon. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

A city-owned space that previously housed the local customer service staff of the tech giant Amazon is waiting for a new tenant.

Keith Lund, vice president of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., said his organization has presented the 29,000-square-foot area at 1400 S. 48th St. as a facility option for a "handful" of businesses, including both local expansions and new entrants to the area.

"I would classify two of those as current conversations, but nothing is mature enough to move forward," Lund said. "We do remain hopeful that something will happen soon."

The Grand Forks Industrial Park building in question is also used by Cirrus Aircraft, with space leased to Amazon since 2011. Amazon previously had maintained operations in both the Cirrus building and the Noah's Ark building-also a city-owned property-before withdrawing from the former by paying about $845,000 to terminate its lease on Sept. 14.

The internet retailer made the move after shifting its customer service staff, a workforce of more than 100 employees, to a model which allowed them to work from home. The change did not result in job losses, and Amazon has maintained more than 200 seller support staff in the 41,100-square-foot Noah's Ark space.

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Lund said the development corporation will continue to market the space until it attracts a new tenant.

He described the building as having "flexibility in the space."

"At one time," Lund said, "it was a manufacturing space, but it has been converted to a professional office. There's the flexibility to keep it as that or revert back, so there's some flexibility from a business development and marketing standpoint."

Brad Gengler, director of Grand Forks Planning and Community Development, said the status of the building could change quickly.

The space shouldn't require any tenant improvements, he said, which could make it a good fit for a new firm coming to Grand Forks. Until then, the building will remain available.

"At this point we're just in the holding pattern waiting to secure a new tenant," Gengler said.

Related Topics: AMAZONKEITH LUNDCIRRUS AIRCRAFT
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