Skip to main content

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.

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


With 48 charged, aftershocks of Feeding Our Future fraud case continue

The Minnesota Department of Education is seeking to recoup taxpayer money lost in a "sham lawsuit" related to the alleged fraud.

Screen Shot 2022-09-21 at 12.46.46 PM

Charges: Ineligible man had guns, over 15,000 rounds of ammo

A search of the man's vehicle and house turned up multiple firearms.


Missing Rochester girl is found safe

She had been reported missing after last being seen Monday.

Screen Shot 2022-09-21 at 7.18.30 AM

Here are the largest hail reports to NWS Twin Cities Tuesday night

River Falls got hit by some massive hail Tuesday night.


Police: Man jumped on train, attacked engineer with knife near St. Cloud

The rock train had just left St. Cloud when the suspect jumped aboard.


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 MOA.


$250M waterpark across from MOA closer to reality

The city is looking toward a final design and construction estimates.

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

Shoppers will get their first look on Thursday.

Sears to close Mall of America store, Kmart in Rochester

The beleaguered retailer is shutting 80 stores nationwide.

'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.