Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Study: $50M Nicollet Mall makeover could generate $100M in spending

Author:

A new study says a $50 million facelift for Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis will more than pay for itself – spurring $106 million in additional spending and creating 860 jobs, the Downtown Journal reported.

City leaders in Minneapolis envision a reinvention of the popular pedestrian and transit corridor in an effort to maintain it as an economic hub downtown, where 150,000 people work. The shininess of the mall's last makeover, in the 1980s, is fading, and its well-trod granite pavers are cracking, its supporters say.

The city last year held a competition to seek out creative resigns for the mall, and ultimately chose New York-based urban design firm James Corner Field Operations. The firm unveiled a plan for Nicollet from Washington Avenue toward Loring Park. Its features include plans for more trees and gardens along the northern stretch of the mall, an area to be dubbed “Mississippi Woods.” (You can see a nice overview of the plan with photos here.)

But it won't be cheap, so city leaders for several years have been prodding lawmakers for state money.

Gov. Mark Dayton has backed a plan for $20 million in state investment, as part of a much broader bonding bill for capital improvement projects statewide. (The city also aims to raise another $25 million for Nicollet with an assessment levied on property owners near the mall, although details of that proposal haven't been finalized, the Star Tribune notes.)

The new $15,000 study, conducted by St. Paul-based Donjek and Anton Economics, seems to offer ammunition to project supporters. (See a copy of the report posted by the Downtown Journal here.) The report argues that a Nicollet redesign would raise downtown property values and lure new money-spending visitors.

"As our funding request makes its way through the Legislature, these numbers tell the story that the project is well worth the investment,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement.

But for now, lawmakers are chewing over Dayton's bonding bill, so the Nicollet project's funding is up in the air.

Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, a key legislator who chairs the House Capital Investment Committee, said Wednesday she still has concerns about the project, the Star Tribune reports. “In meeting after meeting, I’ve listened and listened, and I can’t tell what the concept is. ... It’s been something of a moving target.”

Next Up

Sharon Mollerus - duluth - snow plow car

Sunday snowstorm walloping MN's North Shore with huge totals

Just ridiculous snow totals expected the rest of Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 6.49.03 AM

Saturday snow causes havoc on Twin Cities roads

There were countless spinouts and crashes across Minnesota.

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

Related

Minneapolis wants to spend an extra $45k on PR for Nicollet Mall

The renovation has been a public relations headache for the city.