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Minnesota Legislature

Push is on for Nicollet Mall renovation

Published (3/2/2012)
By Nick Busse
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Minneapolis business leaders told a House committee that renovation of the Nicollet Mall is key to recruiting talented employees to Minnesota.

Sponsored by Rep. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Mpls), HF1400 would authorize

$25 million in bonding to fund the state’s half of a proposed $50 million renovation of the downtown Minneapolis mall area.

The House Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee laid the bill over Feb. 28 for possible inclusion in its bonding recommendations.

Built in the 1960s, Nicollet Mall is home to some of the state’s largest corporations. It has numerous retail outlets and restaurants and hosts a variety of civic events. The mall and its surrounding area host an estimated 140,000 workers on a daily basis.

Sarah Harris, chief operating office of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, said the mall currently suffers from significant deterioration. She said it was built with materials that are not well-suited to Minnesota’s climate, and that it is used to an extent that was never envisioned.

Collin Barr, Midwest region president for Ryan Companies, called the Nicollet Mall Minnesota’s “front porch to the world,” and said investing in it would pay dividends for the whole state.

“Firms like U.S. Bank, Target Corporation, General Mills, Cargill and Medtronic all use Nicollet Mall as a key recruiting tool when recruiting talent and other businesses to grow here in Minneapolis,” Barr said.

Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Mpls) sponsors the companion, SF1108, which awaits action by the Senate Capital Investment Committee.

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