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Northbrook Mall / Professional Center
Constructed in 1959, Northbrook Mall was the city’s second shopping center and the first fully enclosed center to open in North Dakota – reportedly beating Grand Fork’s South Forks Plaza by a matter of days. Tempo Discount Store and regional grocery chain Red Owl (later rebranded “Freshmart Foods”), which were both owned by parent Gamble-Skogmo, originally anchored the shopping center. Northbrook Drug has since been the center’s largest store. The center saw a small addition sometime in the early-to-mid 1970s and underwent major renovation in the late 1980s.
At its prime, the mall was a thriving neighborhood shopping center, complete with a grocery store, salon, hardware store, video rental store, drugstore, and restaurants, including Little Caesar’s Pizza. The opening of nearby Gateway Mall in 1979 would offer intense competition for Northbrook and, unfortunately, cause high vacancies at the shopping center for years.
Midwest Management (now GOLDMARK) assumed management of the mall in late 1986, which, at the time, only had a 58% occupancy rate. By July 1987, occupancy had risen to 90%. However, the closing of Red Owl in 1989 left its largest space empty. High vacancy rates would again plague the center over the next few years. Unable to find stable retail tenants, who tend to favor the higher foot traffic of larger malls, today Northbrook houses mostly office space and has come to also be known as Northbrook Professional Center.
NOTE: According to some sources, including a Bismarck Tribune article from 1987, Northbrook Mall opened in 1962; however, most sources put it at 1959, including the books “History of Bismarck, North Dakota – The First 100 Years” and “Images of America: Bismarck, North Dakota”. Other sources actually cite the opening year as 1964. It is reasonable to assume that construction began in 1959, but was not fully completed until later.
|List of Northbrook Tenants In 1989:|
|NOTE: The former Red Owl/Freshmart space was partially occupied by Santa’s Surplus in November-December 1989.|