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West Acres plans major mall renovation project for remainder of former Sears space

Best Buy moved into part of the former Sears space in the West Acres mall. An announcement is expected on the the remaining space that Sears once occupied. Forum News Service file photo

FARGO - West Acres shopping mall says it will unveil a multi-million dollar redevelopment project on Tuesday, Oct. 30, for space remaining after the departure of the Sears store.

The announcement will be made in a 10 a.m. news conference in the mall court just outside of the Best Buy store.

West Acres is touting the project as the largest since the creation of the food court in 2001.

A news release sent Monday, Oct. 29, said the project will be the first of its kind in our region, and will take the remainder of the vacant Sears space next to Best Buy, along with additional space between Best Buy and Forever 21. The project has been in the works for three years, and the first phase is expected to open in 2019.

Sears closed its outlet in the mall in April 2017, after being open about 45 years in the West Acres location.

Best Buy celebrated its grand opening in June of this year in 50,000 square feet of the former Sears space.

The big box technology, appliance and consumer goods retailer had moved from a 45,000-square-foot standalone location just southeast of the mall, where it had operated since 1994.

In June, Heaton called Best Buy’s move a “win-win” for both sides.

“They’re going to help us bring more people to the shopping center, and I think with the millions of customers that we already have coming into the center every year, we’re going to help provide them with more foot traffic as well,” he said.

About 30,000 square feet of the north side of the former Sears building has remained vacant after the Best Buy move.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including K-12 education, Fargo city government, criminal justice, and military affairs. He is currently one of The Forum's business reporters.

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