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Moorhead Center Mall Getting Breath of Fresh Air

Moorhead Center Mall

Moorhead Center Mall General Manager Melissa Rademacher is on a mission: to breathe new life and vitality into the shopping destination. But Rademacher doesn’t want to emulate what other retail centers have done; she wants to carve out a niche specifically for the Moorhead mall that embodies distinctive style and creative art.

“The Moorhead Center Mall is a unique space, and it’s in the heart of downtown Moorhead,” she explained. “I want to attract people here to find different products and services that aren’t available in Fargo.”

Those diverse products and services may come from popup stores who are testing items or boutique shops and retailers who offer one-of-a-kind goods. Rademacher, who assumed the mall’s top duties in January, is using her retail background to manage the mall and build relationships within the community.

One of those relationships is with city officials who want to see the mall prosper just as much as Rademacher does. “The city (of Moorhead) and mayor have been great allies,” she explained. “We’ve talked about how we can grow and build the city together, and what role the mall can play in that.” Rademacher is also cultivating a relationship with the arts community to position the mall as an avenue for undiscovered artists to display their work; she’s also reaching out to local colleges and universities with art programs to ascertain whether the mall could offer their work a public venue.

Rademacher is not alone in her quest. With recent press coverage in Prairie Business magazine and The Extra, Moorhead’s official newspaper, Rademacher said her phone has been ringing with people who want to see the mall succeed. “That feels good,” Rademacher said with a smile. “This place is really a blank canvas right now. We just need a little life in here.”

While Rademacher admits the mall could use a cosmetic enhancement, she knows she has to first bring in retailers and events that will put the mall on the map as a shopping destination before she can spend money on updates. Being patient has been the biggest lesson she has learned since taking on this challenge six months ago. “I would love to fill the mall tomorrow because I’m so passionate about seeing that movement and growth, but I know I can’t change this overnight or by myself,” Rademacher explained.

That astute observation means the community can help Rademacher achieve her mission by shopping at the mall and telling people about their finds. Businesses who have upcoming events and need space to host them can reach out to Rademacher to discuss whether the mall is a viable location. The city can support creating a thriving downtown area surrounding the mall that will beckon visitors and residents alike.

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