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Mall (of America) gets tenants, partners for expansion - Pioneer Press - 11-27-2006


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  • Mall (of America) gets tenants, partners for expansion - Pioneer Press - 11-27-2006

    A 6,000-seat performing arts auditorium, a roller coaster, a Bass Pro Shop and a hotel will be among the additions to the Mall of America's current complex and its $1 billion-plus Phase II addition, mall officials said this afternoon at a press conference.

    EG of Los Angeles said it would partner with mall ownership group Triple Five to build the performing arts auditorium in Phase II that is appropriate for music and dance performances. AEG owns the Los Angeles Kings, a hockey team, and a piece of the L.A. Lakers.

    The group operates similar facilities in Dallas and Las Vegas where artists such as Elton John and Dolly Parton are known to perform.

    EG didn't disclose the price of the auditorium, but said similar projects have ranged in cost from $50 million to $150 million. They said they picked the Mall of America they feel they have can fill a niche - big name performers looking for smaller venues - that isn't filled in the metro area today.

    The Mall of America said Bass Pro Shops, a Springfield, Mo.-based outdoor retailer, would lease about 300,000 square feet in its 5.6 million-square-foot Phase II project, which just gained approval from the city of Bloomington last week. Construction on Phase II could begin by mid-2007. About 70,000 square feet in the Bass Pro Shop will be devoted to Tracker, Nitro and Tahoe boats built by the Tracker Marine Group.

    Officials said tax-increment financing, which the mall is asking both the state and city of Bloomington for, is essential to the magnitude of the auditorium and the Bass Pro development. However that money would be used for the development of parking and other infrastructure.

    In addition, San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants will build a hotel that will be attached to the south side of the mall off of Killebrew Drive. It will be Kimpton's first property in Minnesota.

    The hotel will be eight stories high with 202 rooms that will go for $180 to $250 a night. Construction of the $40 million project, pending city approval, is expected to take 14 to 16 months.

    Bass Pro officials said they are still looking to attach a hotel to their planned store.

    Mall officials said they would invest $25 million into new rides and attractions at the Park at MOA over the next 18 months. Construction is expected to begin next year on a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster. Gerstlauer is a German designer and manufacturer of amusement rides. The roller coaster is expected to debut in 2008.

    The mall plans to fill fourth-floor space once occupied by Fat Tuesday's and Knuckleheads with Cantina No. 1 Corona, the first restaurant branded by Corona beer. The 13,000-square-foot restaurant will feature Mexican food and specialty beers and is slated to open in 2007. A spokeswoman said they were targeting an open date on Cinco de Mayo.

    Two previous plans for enlarging the Mall failed to take hold. One envisioned a so-called "hyperport," billed as an international showplace to display new technology. More recently, mall owners floated a casino plan that failed to get the attention of lawmakers.

  • #2
    Re: Mall (of America) gets tenants, partners for expansion - Pioneer Press - 11-27-20

    I had also heard about condos going in with this expansion. The idea was that you would never have to leave. They already have a college campus (National American University) several churches and a wedding chapel.
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    • #3
      Re: Mall (of America) gets tenants, partners for expansion - Pioneer Press - 11-27-20

      Huh. I thought with the Dome and the Excel center they didn't need another venue. Be interesting to see how it goes. Then again, anything that gives more theater is good in my book.
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      • #4
        Re: Mall (of America) gets tenants, partners for expansion - Pioneer Press - 11-27-20

        I knew they were making the announcement today about the expansion plans and had heard Bass Pro Shops, exciting to see them announce something for the fourth floor of the existing mall as well, Fat Tuesday was closed long ago. I think the theater will be great addition as well a smaller venue than Target Center and Xcel Center, but still a large enough to get name artists. Not listed in the article is the indoor water park. More hotels in the area will be great, since the closing of the DoubleTree Grand Hotel took away one of the top hotels in the area. I have to look up to see what a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster looks like, but I like the addition already. I can't wait to go back to Minnesota in the future and see how everything has grown.

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        • #5
          Re: Mall (of America) gets tenants, partners for expansion - Pioneer Press - 11-27-20

          Eurofighters are smaller roller coasters similar to Wild Mouses (Mullhulland Madness at DCA) with single cars except they have inversions, and typically have a 95° drop (picture of Mystery Mine being built at Dollywood, and another picture of Typhoon at Bobbejaanland)

          The expansion sounds kinda cool. Never been so I have no clue what it really means, but I'm looking forward to when I can make it out there.
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