Publish date:

Plans for Mall of America's giant waterpark get even bigger, as does the cost

The project could now cost as much as $250 million.
Author:

The Mall of America's ambitious plans to build the largest indoor waterpark in North America have got even more ambitious, and more expensive.

An update to the plans for the giant waterpark, located opposite the Bloomington megamall and to the east of Ikea, has been published on the Bloomington City website ahead of a meeting of the council and Port Authority on Thursday.

It reveals that the owners of the Mall of America, Triple 5, don't think a 225,000 square feet, $150-$200 million waterpark was big enough.

It's not proposing to increase the size of the park to 250,000 square feet, with the estimated cost ballooning to a massive $230-$250 million.

It would dwarf the waterpark it's modeled on, the 215,000 square foot park at the West Edmonton Mall in Canada.

The development also includes space for a hotel, but unlike the nearby Great Wolf Lodge, the waterpark will be open to all, not just those staying at the hotel.

Amid the rise of online shopping, malls have increasingly been looking to transform into more well-rounded entertainment attractions to mitigate the decline of in-store retail.

The MOA has already increased the amount of food and entertainment options it has in Bloomington, while the Triple 5 group says that new malls it's building have about 50 entertainment components.

The MOA is currently about 70 percent retail, and has wanted a waterpark "for years," according to council documents, as it looks for "new traffic generators" to diversify its holding, with hotels and office space also a part of that strategy.

If the project is approved, work could start next year and be ready to open as soon as 2021.

Subscribe: Sign up for our daily newsletters

Who's paying for it?

While the land is owned by Triple 5, the financing for the project would be undertaken by a nonprofit set up specifically for the development, to allow the city access to lower income rates for construction loans and exemption from property taxes.

The city and Triple 5 both believe the revenue generated by the park through ticket sales, room rentals and admission, will be enough to cover the construction debt payments as well as the center's running costs.

If it's not, taxes would be enacted at the Mall of America to cover any shortfalls. 

The City of Bloomington said that local residents' property taxes would not be used for the project.

Triple 5 would sign a 50-year lease to operate the waterpark, which would be owned by the nonprofit for 30 years, after which it passes into the ownership of the city.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant's rally not enough to save Timberwolves

Edwards' third-quarter explosion came too late in a loss to the Pelicans.

Rent, mortgage, house, key, door

Victims of property manager's sexual harassment to get $736,000

It's part of a consent decree announced by the Department of Justice Monday.

The Liffey Pub Facebook

St. Paul's Irish pub The Liffey reveals it won't reopen

The beloved pub has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

Proctor football

Proctor football investigation: Case goes to county attorney

The office will review the evidence and consider possible criminal charges.

kirsten mitchell screegrab

'I’m heading home!': CA reporter announces return to WCCO

Kirsten Mitchell interned at WCCO years ago. Now, she's coming back as a reporter.

eggs

As part of price gouging settlement, farm to donate 1M eggs to food nonprofits

The egg producer will donate more than 1 million eggs to nonprofits fighting hunger.

plane, Piper PA-32

Sheriff: Witnesses saw plane 'performing aerial maneuvers' before fatal crash

The single-engine aircraft went down in northern Wisconsin, killing a brother and sister.

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 8.51.02 AM

Community rallies around Minnetonka HS dancer battling brain tumor

A fundraiser raised more than $44,000 of its $60,000 goal in the first two days.

twin city gardens

In rare move, MDH takes control of Minneapolis nursing home

The temporary receivership is to ensure resident safety.

Sen Mark Koran crop

Lawmaker deletes post encouraging donations to family charged in Capitol riot

Sen. Mark Koran, in his Facebook post, described them as "a good family!"

Related

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 9.49.33 AM

Gallery: New images released of giant Mall of America water park

The City of Bloomington approved the development plan on Monday.

Peloton to move to a bigger space at the MOA

The pricey fitness equipment retailer is making a move at the megamall.

waterpark-across-mall-of-america-rendering-from-city-bloomington

$250M waterpark across from MOA closer to reality

It's not a done deal, but it's getting closer.

H&M's newer, bigger Mall of America store opens this week

Shoppers will get their first look on Thursday.

'Don't build Mall of America waterpark,' says nearby competitor

The CEO of nearby Great Wolf Lodge says it's too risky of an endeavor.

Sears to close Mall of America store, Kmart in Rochester

The beleaguered retailer is shutting 80 stores nationwide.