Legal proceedings are underway seeking the eviction of a Columbia Mall retail store.
According to court documents, Journeys – a shoes, apparel, backpack and accessory retailer for teenagers – on Aug. 6 received a three-day notice to vacate the location, from Columbia Mall Grand Forks LLC. Documents state Journeys is now occupying space in the mall “unlawfully.”
Documents, including a complaint and summons in forcible detainer – eviction notice – were served to the store’s manager on Sept. 15. Two days later the manager also was served with a notice of eviction hearing, scheduled for Oct. 6.
When contacted by the Herald, Tye Anderson, who identified himself as the acting manager, said the store is open for business. Anderson told the Herald that Journeys was closed for a period of time earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and, during that time, the store did not make rent payments. The specific complaint against Journeys was not included in a Herald request for court documents.
Anderson said he doesn’t know how the proceedings are being handled by his company, and that he has been relaying all court notices to a district manager. Subsequent phone calls and messages to the district manager went unreturned, as of the time of publication.
Justin Valinski, the mall’s general manager, did not return an email asking for comment.
Another mall tenant – clothing retailer Eddie Bauer – was evicted in June. Kelly Fontaine, the store’s manager, didn’t specify the reason for eviction and told the Herald at that time: “Just that the mall has evicted us, and they gave us four days to get out.” Fontaine added that her company was able to get that deadline extended, so workers could uninstall the company’s electrical equipment.