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New women's clothing boutique set to open in downtown Grand Forks

Grand Forks leaders gave the OK to a new boutique at the downtown Corporate Center on Monday evening, where new tenant Ann Love expects to begin doing business by Jan. 1.

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Grand Forks City Hall, 255 N. 4th St. (GF Herald photo/Sam Easter)

Grand Forks leaders gave the OK to a new boutique at the downtown Corporate Center on Monday evening, where new tenant Ann Love expects to begin doing business by Jan. 1.

The women's clothing store, run by Callie Schmidt, is opening a location at 402 DeMers, and won unanimous approval on leasing terms from the Jobs Development Authority-a city committee that has the same membership as the City Council, but also includes Mayor Mike Brown as a voting member.

The five-year lease, set to begin in 2018, is on more than 2,600 square feet of space previously occupied by Sadie's Couture Floral and Event Styling. Annual rent comes to nearly $41,000.

"Mainly, so far, I've just been trying to get my name out there," said Callie Schmidt, the owner of Ann Love. "Starting fresh, brand new, it's hard to just essentially get people to know who I am or what the boutique is."

City Council member Crystal Schneider said she's happy to see another store move in, notably given that it's an online-only retailer opening a physical location.

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"It seems like lately it's been the opposite," she said, a reference to the raft of store closures across the country that have been attributed to increased online shopping. That trend has visited Grand Forks perhaps most notably in the recent closure of Macy's, an anchor tenant at the Columbia Mall.

The Jobs Development Authority also voted unanimously to award a more than $730,000 bid to ICS Inc., for the expansion of the publicly owned facility in which LM Wind Power manufactures wind blades at 1550 S. 48th St. When completed, it will allow the company to make larger blades on site. The full project, which includes separate, previously bid work, is expected to be completed by next spring, with funding earned back in a lease with increased rent on LM Wind Power.

Other business

The City Council also approved several minor items, including numerous planning and zoning matters.

In a 7-0 vote on consent agenda, the council approved the use of a larger-than-normal sign for use on Lumber Exchange Apartments, 800 N. Third St., at 60 square feet instead of the standard 12 square feet.

The council also gave 7-0 preliminary approval to minor changes in city code, including the penalty for shoplifting. The code, which outlined a "penalty of" $1,000, would be changed to read "fine not to exceed" $1,000-a move prompted by "legislative changes," according to a city memo.

Related Topics: LM WIND POWER
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