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New York firm chosen for Nicollet Mall redesign

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A panel of 13 judges have selected a firm out of New York City to makeover Nicollet Mall.

After three design teams presented their visions for the downtown corridor Wednesday, panelists chose James Corner Field Operations for the $40 million project, the Star Tribune reports.

British-born James Corner has won wide acclaim for his firm’s redesign of the High Line public park in Manhattan, the central waterfront in Seattle and his firm is also expected to design the renovation of Chicago’s Navy Pier.

The design concept is described by Claude Peck, the newspaper's arts editor, as "'pedestrian-prioritized' extolling 'the simple pleasure of people-watching.'"

The firm's proposal features a moveable, designed-exclusively-for-Nicollet chair, a "crystal stairway" to connect the street to the skyway level of the IDS Center's Crystal Court, a path for bikes and heated sidewalks.

The Minneapolis City Council will consider final approval for the winning design team at its Oct. 4 meeting, KARE 11 reported.

Construction on the project will begin in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2016.

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