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Duluth clothing retailer donates building for UMD downtown campus

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Duluth-based clothing retailer Maurices is turning one of its headquarters buildings over to the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The News Tribune reports acquisition of the four-story building is envisioned as the start of a downtown campus for UMD. A new headquarters is under construction for Maurices and the News Tribune says the existing building will be turned over to the university early in 2016.

The Star Tribune says currently Maurices has 425 employees working in three downtown Duluth buildings, while their new $70 million home on West Superior Street will have room for 600.

Maurices President George Goldfarb tells Northland's News Center the university made a compelling case for reusing the building for higher education. Goldfarb told the station college students make up a big part of the retailer's employee base. "When you look at the opportunity to provide them greater education, it's just outstanding," he said.

In announcing the donation, Maurices said UMD's planned uses for the space include downtown classes for adult learners, academic conferences, and partnerships with other schools. The building includes a fitness center and auditorium and is connected to Duluth's skywalk.

Maurices recently unveiled the design of its new headquarters building, which will be 11 stories tall.

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