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Angie Wieck, Published April 17 2014

Making a Mark: New manager sees potential at Moorhead Center Mall

Name: Melissa Rademacher

Position: General manager of the Moorhead Center Mall

Her story: Melissa Rademacher loves a challenge. She describes herself as someone who hits the ground running when given a new project.

After years of declining occupancy rates, someone like Rademacher may be exactly what the Moorhead Center Mall needs.

A native of Fargo, Rademacher studied apparel textiles and business at North Dakota State University.

She managed Abercrombie and Fitch and Anthropologie stores on the East and West coasts before returning to Fargo in 2004 to be closer to family.

She says she accepted a job with the Moorhead Center Mall because she knows that revitalization is possible. Her goal is to return it to the cool and exciting place she remembers visiting as a child.

Rademacher knows she needs to start by giving more people a reason to come to the mall. Since she started in January, Rademacher has launched a number of efforts to increase foot traffic.

Perhaps the most successful was the Kids Fest held earlier this month. More than 1,000 people attended the event designed to promote health and fitness in children. She heard from several tenants who said they had never seen so many people at the mall.

She hopes for similar success at the Lawn and Garden Show planned May 3.

Rademacher sees opportunity in marketing the mall as a place for businesses and private organizations to host meetings and events. It is a way to show people there is still life at the Moorhead Center Mall.

She also hopes someone who attends one of these events will become interested in leasing space.

The more units she leases, the more money the mall makes. With more money, she hopes to rebrand and update the entire facility.

Vision: Rademacher does not want the mall to compete with downtown Fargo or West Acres. She wants to carve out a niche that will accentuate the Fargo-Moorhead area.

She envisions a mall full of boutiques, kiosks and pop-up stores, but at the top of her wish list right now is a deli or coffee shop. She says there are currently a few parties interested in lease space.

She also wants to find more opportunities to partner with the arts community. An art piece by North Dakota State University student Dave Sauvageau, or Dave $auvageau to the art community, is currently on display near the former home of Virgo’s Pizza. She hopes to collect additional pieces to display throughout the mall.

“It is amazing the talent we have coming out of our colleges, and they need exposure,” Rademacher said. “I think it’s amazing I have the space and I can work with them on that.”

Contact: To contact Rademacher, call (218) 233-6117. To find out what is happening at the mall, visit their newly redesigned website at moorheadcentermall.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501