Harbor Freight Tools coming to former Shopko space; mall owner in negotiations with 2nd national retailer

Published 2:17 pm Thursday, February 24, 2022

A national hardware retailer is slated to open in a portion of the former Shopko building, the owner of Northbridge Mall said Wednesday. 

Harbor Freight Tools will utilize about 18,500 square feet at the north end of the building, said Chad Christensen, regional director of real estate with The Carrington Co. The owner is also in advanced negotiations with another national brand retailer for an additional 30,000 square feet of space and is still looking for a business for the final 18,250 square feet of space in the southernmost part of the building.

“We’re very, very excited to bring them to the market,” Christensen said of Harbor Freight. “They’ve been looking for the last two years, and we’re happy to find them a home.” 

The family-owned company started in 1977 by a father and son and now has more than 1,200 stores across the country, including 20 others in Minnesota, according to its website. 

The closest locations to Albert Lea are in Owatonna, Mankato, Rochester and Mason City. 

Christensen said he hoped to be able to release more information on the second business in the coming weeks. 

The Carrington Co. purchased the former Shopko building right next to the mall in September and has been actively pursuing options for the space. 

He said Carrington has some continued interest in some of the other open locations within the mall and will explore all options for national, regional and local opportunities. 

“Now’s the time to get in,” Christensen said. 

With the addition of the MercyOne Albert Lea Family Medicine & Specialty Care and two other medical companies in the former Herberger’s space on the south end of the mall, the mall is transitioning, he said. MercyOne opened in July, followed by Big Stone Therapies and Hearing Associates in the John & Susan Morrison Medical Plaza. The space with the medical plaza and the clinic are now owned by the Albert Lea Healthcare Coalition.

Christensen encouraged anyone who would like more information about leasing space to call him at 707-444-7719.