Nation’s largest mall is getting even bigger

By | March 22, 2014

mall_of_america_logo_1BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Mall of America, the nation’s largest retail and entertainment destination, Mortenson, a U.S.-based construction and development services company, Hotel Development LLC, an enterprise of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and the City of Bloomington, Minn. celebrated the beginning of a $325 million expansion project during a groundbreaking event on March 18.

The expansion will include a 342-room JW Marriott hotel, office tower, high-end retailers, new dining options, a tourist welcome center and large event space. An extension of the Mall on all three levels on the north side, it is the most significant construction project at the property since opening in 1992.

“This is a major milestone for Mall of America,” said Paul Ghermezian, chief operating officer for Triple Five Worldwide. “For more than 20 years, it has been our dream to increase the size of the Mall, firmly establishing it as a world renowned attraction. Today, I couldn’t be more pleased to say that dream is becoming a reality.”

The JW Marriott located at Mall of America is a ground-up, 14-story, 342-room hotel with direct access to the Mall. The hotel will be owned by Hotel Development LLC and will be managed by Marriott International. It includes a full-service restaurant and bar, grand lobby with a lobby bar, fitness center, pool, and extensive meeting space that includes a grand ballroom. It also will offer an executive lounge and underground parking.

“It is important to us to make investments that will help our Community and this region grow and prosper,” said Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Charlie Vig. “This is a good investment in an important and healthy sector of Minnesota’s economy, and it will bring jobs to many people who need them, including those in the Native American community.”

When people think of Mall of America they often gravitate to the wide-array of retail offerings. The expansion project will build on those expectations adding more than 50 retailers which will complement the unique mix of current retailers at Mall of America.

“Mall of America is an iconic retail and entertainment destination known around the world,” said Tom Lander, vice president at Mortenson Development. “We are pleased to be the development and construction partner for this important expansion and once again work with the Mall as it continues to focus on delivering a world-class experience here in Minnesota.”

A 180,000 square-foot Class-A office complex is also a part of the expansion plan. It will be home to a mix of national and international business tenants that will be located atop a new multi-level parking garage, providing direct access to the Mall. It also is located near MSP International Airport and Light Rail Transit.

“Mall of America has been an industry leader and top destination for years,” said Kurt Hagen, senior vice president of Triple Five Worldwide/Mall of America. “We have accomplished this by continuously reinventing ourselves, always providing new and relevant retail and attraction options. With more than 40 million visitors annually this expansion will allow us to offer guests even more world-class lodging, dining and shopping. The project would not be possible without our great partners – the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Mortenson, the City of Bloomington and so many others.”

The expansion is expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs from ongoing retail, hotel and office operations. Construction has begun and anticipated completion is scheduled for fall 2015.