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Mall of America begins pitching expansion to future tenants

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That 150,000 square feet of new retail space at the Mall of America isn't going to lease itself.

So what if financing for what's being called Phase 1C isn't yet finalized. The Business Journal reports that the Bloomington behemoth is already marketing the new retail space that will be built on the north side of the property to prospective tenants.

The story said the mall sent representatives from its leasing group to the International Council of Shopping Centers meeting in New York on Monday and Tuesday to pitch the project. The retail expansion is expected to go after higher-end tenants.

Finance & Commerce last month reported that the $270 million Phase 1C expansion will be concentrated on the north side of the mall and will push out over the existing parking area to accommodate three levels of retail. A new luxury hotel and a 210,000-square-foot office building will sit atop the addition. Phase 1C also calls for two levels of underground parking.

Construction is expected to begin in early January with completion tentatively set for fall 2015.

The larger Phase II development will follow, with the construction of additional retail space and attractions including a hockey rink and a waterpark hotel. According to the mall website, the completed expansion is expected to draw up to an additional 20 million visitors annually, almost doubling the economic impact to the state to an estimated $4.3 billion.

The mall is currently 95 percent occupied with some 520 stores and employs 15,000.

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