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Yeah, we got that

Minnesota State Roundup

January 1, 2006

Yeah, we got that

What do you do for an encore at the Mall of America? One thing for certain: It isn't going to be small.

Developers of the Mall of America, located in Bloomington just south of the Twin Cities and next door to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, are looking to add (that's right, add) 5.6 million square feet to the facility's existing 4.2 million square feet. The proposed $1 billion expansion will offer more shopping to the existing lineup of 520 retailers and 60 restaurants.

But developers are using the expansion to build the concept of the mall as an entertainment destination, including a 6,000-seat performing arts center, a museum, an ice rink and even a stream that cuts through the facility. The expansion will also feature three hotels, offering mall goers the ability to shop, eat and sleep without ever leaving the building. But being on the drawing board doesn't mean this proposal will come to fruition, as the mall has been at the so-called phase-two stage before, with previous plans for a "hyperport" and casino having been scrapped.

Ronald A. Wirtz