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MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A city in northern North Dakota hasn’t escaped a national trend of big box retail store closures, leaving the area with ample available commercial space.

Minot has seen a high amount of commercial property available within city limits. The city has recently experienced closures of large retailers, hotels, restaurants and small businesses, the Minot Daily News reported.

Fargo has a million square feet of open retail space from large retailers that called it quits, said Gov. Doug Burnum. He said he expects more such closures in the future as he keeps pushing his Main Street Initiative as a method that’s not as “catastrophic to the tax base.”

Cities lose tax revenue and jobs when businesses close. Replacing both is difficult when consumers can now shop online.

“It just takes time,” said Tim Mihalick of 1st Western Bank about filling retail space. “Some of things Gov. Burgum is doing will help us but we need to take the bull by the horns and do it. Let’s get after it from a business perspective. We as a city need to empower our local businesses to do things rather than look for others to come in. Let’s quit searching for outside vendors and consultants to tell us what we already know.”

Minot got “a little over-built” some years ago and the city has to catch up, said Jeff Stremick of Signal Realtors. He said there’s no new commercial construction underway in the city right now.

“It will correct itself,” he said. “Some stuff is still moving but not like it was. Commercial lots are not moving at all but a lot of properties of moving. They just have to be priced right. That’s the thing about it.”


Information from: Minot Daily News,