Mall of America

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Mall of America
Mall of america logo13.png
Mall of America is located in Minnesota
Location within Minnesota
Alternative namesMoA
General information
TypeShopping mall
Address60 East Broadway
Bloomington, Minnesota
55425
Coordinates44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222Coordinates: 44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222
InauguratedAugust 11, 1992
OwnerTriple Five Group
Technical details
Floor count4 on East and South Wings
3 on North and West Wings
1 basement level and transit level
Floor area2,500,000 sq ft (230,000 m2) + 5,400,000 sq ft (500,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architecture firmHGA, KKE Architects, Inc., Jerde Partnership[1]
Main contractorMelvin Simon & Associates
Triple Five Group
Other information
Number of stores520+
Number of anchors5
Parking20,000 spaces
(Two 7-story ramps, two overflow surface lots, and one underground transit station)
Website
mallofamerica.com
 
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Mall of America
Mall of america logo13.png
Mall of America is located in Minnesota
Location within Minnesota
Alternative namesMoA
General information
TypeShopping mall
Address60 East Broadway
Bloomington, Minnesota
55425
Coordinates44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222Coordinates: 44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222
InauguratedAugust 11, 1992
OwnerTriple Five Group
Technical details
Floor count4 on East and South Wings
3 on North and West Wings
1 basement level and transit level
Floor area2,500,000 sq ft (230,000 m2) + 5,400,000 sq ft (500,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architecture firmHGA, KKE Architects, Inc., Jerde Partnership[1]
Main contractorMelvin Simon & Associates
Triple Five Group
Other information
Number of stores520+
Number of anchors5
Parking20,000 spaces
(Two 7-story ramps, two overflow surface lots, and one underground transit station)
Website
mallofamerica.com

The Mall of America (MoA) is a shopping mall owned by the Triple Five Group. It is located in Bloomington, Minnesota (a suburb of the Twin Cities), southeast of the junction of Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway 77, north of the Minnesota River and is across the interstate from the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport. Opened in 1992, the mall receives over 40 million visitors annually. 80 percent of the visitors to the Mall of America come from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, the Dakotas, Illinois, Ohio, and Canada.[2] The Triple Five Group, owned by Canada's Ghermezian family, owns and manages the Mall of America, as well as the West Edmonton Mall.

History[edit]

One escalator well

The Mall's concept was designed by Triple Five Group, owned by the Ghermezian brothers of who also own the biggest shopping mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall. Mall of America is located adjacent to the former site of Metropolitan Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins played until the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome opened. The teams left Met Stadium in 1982. A plaque in the amusement park commemorates the former location of home plate. One seat from Met Stadium was placed in Mall of America at the exact location (including elevation) it occupied in the stadium, to commemorate a 520-foot (160 m) home run hit by hall-of-famer Harmon Killebrew on June 3, 1967

In 1986, The Bloomington Port Authority signed an agreement with the Ghermezian organization. Groundbreaking for the Mall took place on June 14, 1989. Organizations involved include Melvin Simon and Associates, Teachers Insurance and Annuity (a.k.a. TIAA), the Triple Five Group, and the office of architect Jon Jerde.

In 1987 the Ghermezian brothers also met with Niagara Falls New York officials in regards to building a similar mega Mall in that city. Discussions lasted for several months, but a suitable economic package could not be put together by New York officials.

The Mall opened its doors to the public August 11, 1992. Even before opening, Mall of America had earned several nicknames, including "The Megamall" (or "The Megamess" during construction), "Sprawl of America", "Hugedale" (in reference to the four major "Dale" shopping malls within the Twin Cities, Rosedale, Southdale, Ridgedale and now-defunct (as of 2010) Brookdale) and, simply, "The Mall".

It became the second largest shopping mall in total area and largest in total store vendors in the United States when it opened. Mall of America is the most visited shopping mall in the world with more than 40 million visitors annually (or roughly eight times the population of the state of Minnesota). The Mall employs over 12,000 workers.

During its run as an all-encompassing entertainment and retail venue, certain aspects - most notably bars - have come under scrutiny. A Mardi Gras themed bar, Fat Tuesdays, shut its doors in early 2000 due to indecent exposure and alcohol-related offenses, for ignoring warnings from the Mall and Bloomington police to not repeat incidents caught on tape the year before.[3] Following that verdict there were other problems, such as foot traffic within the Mall after the bars (all located on the fourth floor) had closed for the evening.

In 2003, after a protracted six-year legal battle between Simon Property Group, the managing general partner of the property, and the Ghermezian brothers/Triple Five Group, over majority ownership of the site, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the Ghermezians, effectively transferring control and planning authority of the Mall back to its original conceptualizer.[4] The dispute stemmed from a 1999 purchase of Teacher's Insurance's 27.5% equity stake by Simon Properties, giving them majority ownership. The Ghermezians claimed they were never told of the deal and sued Simon, citing fiduciary responsibility.

On November 3, 2006, the Ghermezians gained full control of Mall of America, spending US$1 billion to do so.[5]

Mall of America Phase II concept

The Mall of America is planned to be expanded with the construction of Phase II. It will develop a large, empty parcel of land (the former home of the Met Center indoor arena) north of the mall and integrate an IKEA store built on a portion of the property in 2004. The project also includes a dinner theatre, ice rink, three hotels, and a waterpark, similar in design to the West Edmonton Mall. The cost of expansion is $2.1 billion, and will double the mall's size with a 5,200,000-square-foot (480,000 m2) extension.[6]

MOA has signed contracts to bring in Great Wolf Resorts as the waterpark operator, as well as Bass Pro Shops and a Kimpton Hotel.[6] The expansion section will connect to the mall on all four levels, and an adjacent IKEA store via a second level bridge. There will be an NHL-sized ice rink for public & private skating. There will also be an additional parking ramp, adding 8,000 parking spaces. There will also be fine art exhibits planned in the expansion,[7] and two upscale department stores.[8] Another plan that was in the works would have seen fashions, architecture, and restaurants based after Europe.[9]

On May 18, 2008, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill granting the city of Bloomington the right to raise property and sales taxes to pay for the MOA expansion. Construction of an expansion has begun, in early 2011, on the south side of the mall near Killebrew Drive, where a 506-room hotel, the Radisson Blu, will open in March 2013.

On 29 November 2011 Google announced indoor maps for Mall of America along with several other places like airports, parks and public spaces.[10]

On March 24, 2012, The Triple Five Group officially announced the start of a $200,000,000 expansion that would build into the north parking lot of the mall. Rather than the long planned Phase II expansion, this would be a step in building this expansion. The initial plans call for an additional hotel and an additional 200,000 square feet of retail space.[11] A Mayo Clinic Wellness Center was also planned, though the company announced that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would cause these plans to be cancelled, as related planning would not have been completed in time for the construction deadline.[12]

In winter 2012-2013, Mall of America hosted a 40 feet tall ice castle made of icicles formed from 4 million gallons of water and then fused together. The castle joined 50 large ice towers together to create a series of shimmering archways, tunnels, walls and caverns.[13]

Architecture[edit]

Sign at a Mall of America entrance

The Mall of America has a gross area of 4,870,000 sq ft (452,000 m2) or 96.4 acres, enough to fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside,[14] with 2,500,000 sq ft (230,000 m2) available as retail space.[15] The mall is nearly symmetric, with a roughly rectangular floor plan. More than 530 stores are arranged along three levels of pedestrian walkways on the sides of the rectangle, with a fourth level on the east side. Four anchor department stores are located at the corners. The Mall is organized into four different zones, each with its own decorative style.

Despite Minnesota's cold winters, only the Mall's entrances and some below ground areas are heated. Heat is allowed in through skylights above Nickelodeon Universe. The majority of the heat is produced by lighting fixtures, other electric devices, and people in the mall.[16] In fact, even during the winter, air conditioning systems may still be in use during peak hours to ensure a comfortable shopping environment.[17] Although the common areas are unheated, the individual stores do have heating systems.[18]

Two nearly identical seven story parking ramps on the east and west sides of the Mall provide 12,287 parking spaces. Overflow parking north of the building provides an additional 1,200-1,500 spaces in addition to parking provided by IKEA (1,407 spaces) that is part of the currently under construction Phase II expansion of the Mall.

Mall contents[edit]

Level One is the location of Nickelodeon Universe, Sea Life Minnesota (underground), The Theme Park Food Court, LEGO, American Girl Doll store, the Apple Store and Microsoft store (directly across from each other near the Lego Store), and first level of general retail.[citation needed] Level Two features restaurants, shopping, memory moments. Level Three has two food courts with more than 20 eateries, Marshall's, mini-golf, and other hot places like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.[19][20] Level Four is the entertainment level with The Hooters restaurant, Cantina #1 restaurant, Rick Bronson's House of Comedy, Dick's Last Resort, Skydeck Sports Grille and Lanes, and The Theatres at Mall of America (formerly run by General Cinemas and then AMC Theatres, now operated by Mall management) now occupy the fourth floor as of January 2012. For many years the 4th floor was considered a ghost town but has recently surged in popularity and remains 70% occupied. Planet Hollywood, at the height of its success, was once a very popular restaurant on the fourth floor, but closed in 2003. This space is now occupied by Dick's Last Resort.[21]

Skydeck Sports Grille and Lanes, formerly Jillian's, was initially closed due to low foot traffic and issue running a family friendly restaurant in a space occupied by several bars. The Mall was in negotiations with Dave and Buster's for several years, which failed to re-open the location. In 2011, new owners were brought back in and relaunched the restaurant and lanes under the new name.[21] In order to keep the fourth floor from failing as it did in the early 2000s, the Mall has strategically leased to several different corporations, rather than leasing several spaced to one corporation. The bankruptcy of Jillian's in 2004 led to the lowest vacancy rate of the 4th floor, at 41%.[21] The original Level Four had a comedy club, Hooters, bowling alley, arcade, and Planet Hollywood.[citation needed] Due to the structure of the building, Level Four only exists on the East and South side of the mall.

Currently, the mall has 23 empty stores. Mall of America is 4% vacant while nearby Southdale Center is 18% vacant.

Attractions[edit]

Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park

Nickelodeon Universe is an indoor theme park in the center of the mall. The park features roller coasters, among numerous other rides and attractions, and is the largest indoor theme park in the United States. Unlike many indoor amusement parks, Nickelodeon Universe has a great deal of natural foliage in and about the park, and its floor has a wide variance in height - the highest ground level in the park is 15 feet (4.6 m) above the lowest. The park features two new roller coasters, SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge and Avatar Airbender, and a new thrill ride called BrainSurge. The latter roller coaster bills itself as a "rather peculiar" ride. It also has a miniature golfing section called Moose Mountain. This miniature golf course features eighteen holes and a relatively fast astroturf surface.

At the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, guests travel through a 300-foot-long (91 m) curved tunnel through 14 feet (4.3 m) of water to view over 4,500 sea creatures including sharks, turtles, stingrays, and many more.[22] SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium offers special events such as sleepovers, scuba diving, snorkeling, and birthday parties.[23][24][25][26]

MOA has partnered with EMS Entertainment to open a permanent exhibits space on the third floor of the old Bloomingdale's space on the southeast corner of the mall that will host exhibitions of different kinds. There is space for three exhibits at a time with one larger exhibit space and two smaller ones. The first exhibit to open is Barbie: The Dreamhouse Experience, which opened to the public on February 14, 2014[27] and will remain open for two to three years. Visitors tour Barbie's dreamhouse, try on clothes in her virtual closet, make virtual cupcakes in Barbie's kitchen, have their photo taken by "Selfie Stations" located throughout the exhibit, be a star in Entertainment World, which features a make-up studio, fashion runway, pop star stage and more, and participate in numerous other activities. The exhibit is interactive and uses RFID bracelets for a more personal touch. Coming shortly after Barbie opens is an exhibition based on the TV show CSI called CSI: The Experience[28] and another unnanounced exhibit. In CSI: The Experience visitors will have the opportunity to solve one of three different crimes. Visitors will be guided by videos featuring cast members from the show and real forensic specialists.

Nostalgic artifacts or memorials[edit]

Twin Cities public events:

Transit and Mall of America Transit Station[edit]

Mall of America Transit Station
Station statistics
Coordinates44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222
Line(s)     METRO Blue Line
     METRO Red Line
ConnectionsMetro Transit routes 5, 54, 415, 515, 540, and 542
MVTA routes 444
PlatformsIsland platform
Other information
OpenedDecember 4, 2004 (Blue Line)
June 22, 2013 (Red Line)
AccessibleHandicapped/disabled access
Owned byMETRO
Services
Preceding station METRO Following station
toward Target Field
Blue LineTerminus
TerminusRed Line

The Mall of America Transit Station is the busiest transit hub/station in Minnesota, with bus and light rail service linking the mall to many destinations in the Minneapolis - St. Paul metro. Public transit service is provided by Metro Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority. Many area hotels and Mystic Lake Casino offer free shuttles to their establishments. The transit station for local bus/rail service is in the lower level of the eastern parking ramp. From there, the METRO Blue Line light rail connects the mall to the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and downtown Minneapolis (another shopping destination) and terminates at Target Field home of the Minnesota Twins (MLB baseball team). The mall is not a park and ride facility, and overnight parking is banned to prevent passengers taking the train to the airport. Commuters are encouraged to use the nearby 28th Avenue Station's parking ramp. The mall is the nineteenth and final stop on the Blue Line and is the northern terminus of the Red Line. The Mall of America Transit Station is undergoing a study to increase efficiencies and capacities, and to provide a better experience for its users; estimates for the upgrade are approximately $20 million.

Mall security[edit]

The mall's private security personnel were featured in 2010 TLC series Mall Cops: Mall of America.

In 2011, NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition, PBS's Newshour both aired programs documenting security abuses by the Mall's security personnel.[31][32]

At the mall people have been questioned or detained for operating video cameras, using notebooks, or other perceived suspicious behavior. Michael Rozin, the former manager of the mall's behavior detection unit instructs its members that "suspicious behavior" constitutes "photographing such things as air-conditioning ducts or signs that a shopper might have something to hide".[33] Commander Jim Ryan of the Bloomington Police Department commented that the mall's security methods may "infringe on some freedoms, unfortunately."[33][34]

Slogans[edit]

Amusement park and other Mall features[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Mall of America". Translucency.com. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  2. ^ Sandra Larriva and Gabe Weisert (April 25, 2007). "Most Visited Tourist Attractions". Forbes Traveler. 
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/user/ur0802283/comments-expanded?start=0&order=alpha
  4. ^ Star Tribune (LexisNexis Search), Brothers win back control of megamall; Simon Property will contest a ruling that transfers majority ownership., September 12, 2003.
  5. ^ Sam Black, Ghermezians take sole control of Mall of America in $1B deal, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, November 3, 2006.
  6. ^ a b Carissa Wyant, MOA signs Great Wolf water park for Phase 2, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, July 26, 2007.
  7. ^ [1] Mall of America Web site listing planned additions in Phase II expansion project. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  8. ^ "Ghermezians Betting on Mall of America Expansion". Retailtrafficmag.com. 2005-02-17. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  9. ^ "Minnesota’s Mall of America is expanding to include – you betcha – a casino". Specialtyretail.net. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  10. ^ A new frontier for Google Maps http://googleblog.blogspot.in/2011/11/new-frontier-for-google-maps-mapping.html
  11. ^ Webbtwebb, Tom. "Mall of America plans $200 million expansion". TwinCities.com. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  12. ^ "Mayo Clinic won't be in Mall of America Expansion". Rochester Post Bulletin. December 12, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mall of America | Pressroom". Press.mallofamerica.com. 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  14. ^ [2] Citation of fitting "seven Yankee Stadiums" inside the retail space of MOA, listed in the City of Bloomington, MN Web site. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  15. ^ Mall of America - Facts
  16. ^ Faiza Elmasry (10 October 2006). "America's Largest Mall Offers More than Shopping". Voice of America. 
  17. ^ Schapiro, Rose (November 29, 2007). "Road Trip to the Mall of America". Chicago Weekly. Retrieved December 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ WCCO - TV (25 January 2008). "http://wcco.com/consumer/heating.costs.cold.2.638318.html". 
  19. ^ Location for The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company at the Mall Of America http://www.bubbagump.com/locations/mall-of-america/
  20. ^ Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant Reviews, Bloomington http://www.tripadvisor.in/Restaurant_Review-g42881-d444793-Reviews-Bubba_Gump_Shrimp_Co-Bloomington_Minnesota.html
  21. ^ a b c Vomhof Jr, John (October 11, 2009). "MOA's 4th floor filling up again". 
  22. ^ "*Official* SEA LIFE Minnesota". Sharky.tv. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  23. ^ "*Official* SEA LIFE Minnesota". Sharky.tv. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  24. ^ "*Official* SEA LIFE Minnesota". Sharky.tv. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  25. ^ "*Official* SEA LIFE Minnesota". Sharky.tv. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  26. ^ "*Official* SEA LIFE Minnesota". Sharky.tv. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  27. ^ "Barbie Dreamhouse Experience". Retrieved 2014-02-03. 
  28. ^ "CSI: The Experience". Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  29. ^ a b "Baseball at the Mall". Dusty Lens. March 11, 2008. 
  30. ^ Roland Merullo (2006-05-13). "Who Financed 9/11?". Reader's Digest Australia. 
  31. ^ "Under Suspicion at the Mall of America". 
  32. ^ "Attention Mall Shoppers: Are You Engaging in Suspicious Activity?". 
  33. ^ a b "They're watching at the Mall of America". 
  34. ^ "The shadow of suspicion falls in the Mall of America". 

External links[edit]