Can you imagine the Mall of America being bigger than it already is? The massive mall already takes hours and hours to fully navigate, and now, the Mall of America is set to add a $300 million expansion, the first phase of a proposed $2.5 billion full-scale expansion.
The Mall of America just closed on the financing to set this first phase expansion into motion — these new additions on the north side of the MOA complex will include a 342-room luxury hotel (doesn’t the mall already have a hotel attached?), more retail space and more dining options, an upscale office building, and underground parking.
The hotel is being funded by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, who will pay the entire $105 million cost — the mall’s ownership group, Triple Five, is covering the cost of the retail space at $110 million and the office space at $44 million. The city of Bloomington also is paying for a portion of the pie, paying $34 million (that’s a nice fee for the taxpayers) for the parking and public infrastructure.
The Radisson Blu, the 500-room hotel already attached to the MOA via skyway, was just the beginning of the ultimate goal for expansion. The plans to grow bigger do not stop at the two hotels, more retail space, and a new office complex.
If you think this first phase expansion is crazy, consider the MOA’s long term plans to double the size of the mall in the coming years. Double. They plan to add more hotel options, including a hotel with a water park (even though there is a water park just down the road from MOA), more space for potential exhibits like the rotunda in the current mall, and even a hockey rink.
The MOA’s website reports 40 million visitors annually — they expect the new expansion to bring in an additional 20 million visitors a year. Groundbreaking for the new addition will take place later this month, with completion expected to done by August 2015.
As if the mall wasn’t big enough now, wait ten years — then see how long it takes to walk the entire connected complex.
Images via: DLR Group