Downtown Chiropractic Stays … Downtown

Drs. Matt Lau and Matt Gilbertson of Downtown Chiropractic will relocate in the first private development announced for the Center Mall area, where their clinic will remain until the new building is done in the early fall of 2025. (Photos/Nancy Hanson.)

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

A doctor of chiropractic was there when the Moorhead Center Mall opened its doors 52 years ago. Now, as that landmark fades away, what began as Dr. Roger Larum’s practice is about to play a prominent part in the rebirth of downtown Moorhead.
Drs. Matt Lau and Matt Gilbertson’s Downtown Chiropractic, the current incarnation of that venerable practice, will become the first Center Mall business to reopen in new quarters as the city’s commercial pulse begins to beat again on Center Avenue. The partners are planning a larger, more extensive business presence along the avenue on the eastern third of the mall area.
“We’re both Moorhead boys. We grew up here. We’re Spuds,” Lau asserts. “It was really important to us to keep our business right here in Moorhead.”
Downtown Chiropractic will occupy 12,000 square feet on the first floor of the southern half of Kevin Bartram’s new four-story, twin-building mixed-use complex, dubbed 650 Center. Their storefront location will face the avenue with full-length windows offering a top-to-bottom view of the renaissance of the city’s core. The new facility will be almost three times the size of the space their clinic now occupies beside the east entrance of the old mall.
Their new offices, nearly three times as large as their current windowless quarters, will provide plenty of space to accommodate the expanded vision the two men began to imagine when, five years ago, they learned the mall that had housed their practice for half a century was due to disappear.
Lau and Gilbertson’s vision focuses on health and wellness far beyond the scope of the crowded space in which they treat patients today. “We’re planning a multidisciplinary approach – something that’s new to Moorhead,” says Lau, who joined now-retired Dr, Jeff Pladson’s practice in 2010. Gilbertson put in several years there after 10 in private practice; he returned to join Lau in 2019. “We’re putting together a one-stop shop for health and wellness.”
Their clinic will occupy the western end of the new space. All of their current services will relocate there – not only chiropractic care, but also massage and related therapies like ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, orthotics and rehabilitative exercise.
Much of the rest of their space will become a full-service fitness center. The spacious area will include not only the typical amenities of other fitness centers and gyms, but also specialties usually available only in free-standing studios – a cycle studio, a yoga studio, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Lau’s wife Sara already owns Ride Cycle Studio on Veterans Boulevard in West Fargo, and plans to make this her second location.
Gilbertson says, “Instead of having separate memberships for all these things, you’ll be able to get everything that interests you with one membership, in one spot that’s open 24/7, 365 days a year.”
The chiropractors expect to add other health-care professionals to their staff, perhaps a third chiropractor and a third massage therapist. To round out their rehabilitative and therapeutic services, they’re in talks with several physical therapists and a nurse practitioner who specializes in restorative treatments.
All this lies perhaps 18 months in the future, probably late in the summer of 2025, when Sterling Development completes the pair of buildings that will house the chiropractors’ business, along with another smaller business space and a total of 121 apartments. The last piece of the puzzle slipped into place Monday night when the Moorhead City Council approved architect and developer Kevin Bartram’s application for a 15-year Renaissance Zone property tax exemption for 650 Center. Total cost of the development is an estimated $25 million. When completed, Lau and Gilbertson will own their new business quarters condominium-style.
In the meantime, Downtown Chiropractic carries on in its present spot. Like the other businesses still in the half-demolished mall – Moorhead Drug, the DMV office. Moorhead Vision Associates, Mane Impressions and Bob Grantham’s barber shop – they have arranged with Roers Development to remain until their new facilities are complete.
“We’re proud to be part of Moorhead’s new downtown,” Gilbertson says. “Between this project and the new community center and library, people who have been watching things come down will finally be able to see what comes next – great buildings going up.”

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