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By Jonathan Knutson, Published June 10 2009

Barnes & Noble to stay put for now

Fargo’s Barnes & Noble Booksellers won’t be moving to the West Acres mall – at least not this year, mall and company officials say.

Barnes & Noble is staying at its current location, kitty-corner from the mall at 1201 42nd St. S.

The bookseller and the mall were negotiating a deal, which involved renovating space in the mall, to bring Barnes & Noble into West Acres.

The negotiations ended by mutual agreement, said Brad Schlossman, chief executive officer of West Acres, and David Deason, vice president of development for Barnes & Noble, which operates 777 bookstores in 50 states.

Both parties wanted to avoid renovation expenses and conserve capital, said Schlossman and Deason. Schlossman and Deason said Barnes & Noble ultimately could establish a store in the mall.

“We look at it more as a delay than a cancellation,” Schlossman said of Barnes & Noble not coming to West Acres.

The West Acres B. Dalton store, part of a chain Barnes & Noble acquired in the 1980s, will continue to operate through the end of its lease, which ends Jan. 31, 2010, Deason said.

After that, the company will work with West Acres to see if the lease can be extended, he said.

Schlossman said West Acres has another potential tenant, which he’s not free to identify, for the space that Barnes & Noble would have occupied.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530