Mall of America

Mall of America
Mall of America

Mall logo at entrance
Mall of America is located in Minnesota
Location within USA Minnesota
Alternative names MOA
General information
Type Shopping mall
Location Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
Coordinates 44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222Coordinates: 44°51′15″N 93°14′32″W / 44.85417°N 93.24222°W / 44.85417; -93.24222
Inaugurated August 11, 1992
Cost $650 million
Technical details
Floor count 4
Floor area 2,500,000 sq ft (230,000 m2) + 5,400,000 sq ft (500,000 m2)
Design and construction
Owner Triple Five Group
Main contractor Melvin Simon & Associates &
Triple Five Group
Architecture firm HGA, KKE Architects, Inc., Jerde Partnership[1]
Other information
Number of stores 520+
Number of anchors 5
Parking 20,000 spaces, including two 7-story ramps and overflow surface lots.
Official website

The Mall of America, also called MOA and the Megamall, is a shopping mall located in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities, in the United States. It is located southeast of the junction of Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway 77, north of the Minnesota River and is across the interstate from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Opened in 1992, the mall receives 40 million visitors annually.[2] The Triple Five Group, owned by Canada's Ghermezian family, owns and manages the Mall of America, as well as the West Edmonton Mall.

In the United States, it is the second largest mall in terms of retail space, but is the largest in terms of total enclosed floor area.[3] The Mall of America is the second largest mall in North America, after West Edmonton Mall, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



The Mall of America has a gross area of 4,200,000 sq ft (390,000 m2) or 96.4 acres, enough to fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside[citation needed], with 2,500,000 sq ft (230,000 m2) available as retail space.[4] The mall is nearly symmetric, with a roughly rectangular floor plan. Over 520 stores are arranged along three levels of pedestrian walkways on the sides of the rectangle, with a fourth level on the east side. Four anchor department stores are located at the corners. The mall is organized into four different zones, each with its own decorative style.

Despite Minnesota's cold winters, only the mall's entrances and some below ground areas are heated. Heat is allowed in through skylights above Nickelodeon Universe. The majority of the heat is produced by lighting fixtures, other electric devices, and people in the mall.[5] In fact, even during the winter, air conditioning systems are still in use during peak hours to ensure a comfortable shopping environment.[citation needed] Although the common areas are unheated, the individual stores do have heating systems.[6]

Two nearly identical seven story parking ramps on the east and west sides of the mall provide 12,287 parking spaces. Overflow parking north of the building provides an additional 1,200-1,500 spaces in addition to parking provided by IKEA (1,407 spaces) that is part of the currently under construction Phase II expansion of the mall.


One escalator well

The mall's concept was designed by Triple Five Group, owned by the Ghermezian brothers of Canada, who also own the biggest shopping mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall. The Mall of America is located on the former site of Metropolitan Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins played until the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome opened. The teams left Met Stadium in 1982. A plaque in the amusement park commemorates the former location of home plate. One seat from Met Stadium was placed in the Mall of America at the exact location (including elevation) it occupied in the stadium, to commemorate a 520-foot (160 m) home run hit by hall-of-famer Harmon Killebrew on June 3, 1967.

In 1986, The Bloomington Port Authority signed an agreement with the Ghermezian organization. Groundbreaking for the mall took place on June 14, 1989. Organizations involved include Melvin Simon and Associates, Teachers Insurance and Annuity (a.k.a. TIAA), the Triple Five Group, and the office of architect Jon Jerde.

The mall opened its doors to the public August 11, 1992. Even before opening, the Mall of America had earned several nicknames, including "The Megamall" (or "The Megamess" during construction), "Sprawl of America", "Hugedale" (in reference to the four major "Dale" shopping malls within the Twin Cities, Rosedale, Southdale, Ridgedale and now-defunct (as of 2010) Brookdale) and, simply, "The Mall".

It became the second largest shopping mall in total area and largest in total store vendors in the United States when it opened, however, the mall has never been the largest in the world (at the time it opened, it was #2 globally to the West Edmonton Mall).[citation needed] The Mall of America is the most visited shopping mall in the world with more than 40 million visitors annually (or roughly eight times the population of the state of Minnesota). The mall employs over 12,000 workers.

During its run as an all-encompassing entertainment and retail venue, certain aspects - most notably bars - have come under scrutiny. A Mardi Gras themed bar, Fat Tuesdays, shut its doors in early 2000 due to indecent exposure and alcohol related offenses, for ignoring warnings from the mall and Bloomington police to not repeat incidents caught on tape the year before.[7] Following that verdict there were other problems, such as foot traffic within the Mall after the bars (all located on the fourth floor) had closed for the evening. The Hooters restaurant, Cantina #1 restaurant, Rick Bronson's House of Comedy and the Theatres at Mall of America movie theater are the only establishments remaining on the fourth floor. Planet Hollywood, at the height of its success, was once a very popular restaurant on the fourth floor, but vacated the mall some years ago.

In 2003, after a protracted six year legal battle between Simon Property Group, the managing general partner of the property, and the Ghermezian brothers/Triple Five Group, over majority ownership of the site, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the Ghermezians, effectively transferring control and planning authority of the mall back to its original conceptualizer.[8] The dispute stemmed from a 1999 purchase of Teacher's Insurance's 27.5% equity stake by Simon Properties, giving them majority ownership. The Ghermezians claimed they were never told of the deal and sued Simon, citing fiduciary responsibility.

On November 3, 2006, the Ghermezians gained full control of Mall of America, spending US$1 billion to do so.[9]

Level One

Level One is, Nickelodeon Universe, The Theme Park Food Court, the LEGO Store, shopping, and other stores.

Level Two

Level Two is all restaurants, shopping, American Girl Store, and other stores.

Level Three

Level Three has two food courts with more than 20 eateries, Marshall's, mini-golf, and other stores.

Level Four

Level Four is the entertainment level with Hooter's, a Mexican restaurant owned by Corona Beer, a mini-bowling alley, a comedy club, a movie theater, and other restaurants. Level Four is also highly vacant, some might say a ghost town. The original Level Four had a comedy club, bowling alley, Hooter's, mini-golf, and Planet Hollywood.

Phase II expansion

Mall of America Phase II concept

Phase II is the planned expansion for MOA, developing a large, empty parcel of land north of the mall which was the former home of the Met Center indoor arena and integrating an IKEA store built on a portion of the property in 2004. Phase II, includes a dinner theatre, ice rink, three hotels, and a waterpark; similar in design to the West Edmonton Mall.

The cost of expansion is $2.1 billion, doubling the mall's size with a 5,200,000-square-foot (480,000 m2) extension.[10]

MOA has signed contracts to bring in Great Wolf Resorts as the waterpark operator, as well as Bass Pro Shops and a Kimpton Hotel.[10] The expansion section would connect to the mall on all four levels, and an adjacent IKEA store via a second level bridge. There would be an NHL-sized ice rink for public & private skating. There would also be an additional parking ramp, adding 8,000 parking spaces. There would also be fine art exhibits planned in the expansion,[11] and two upscale department stores.[12] Another plan that was in the works would have seen fashions, architecture, and restaurants based after Europe.[13]

On May 18, 2008, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill granting the city of Bloomington the right to raise property and sales taxes to pay for the MOA expansion. There is however an expansion that will occur on the south side of the mall near Killebrew Drive, where a 500 room hotel had already begun construction in early 2011. Construction of the main expansion has begun in mid 2011. It will be finished and opened in 2015.

Radisson Blu Hotel

Started construction in early 2011, there will be a 500 room hotel off of Killebrew Drive named the Radisson Blu Hotel at Mall of America. It will be open by early 2014.

Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park

Nickelodeon Universe is an indoor theme park in the center of the mall, formerly known as Knott's Camp Snoopy, Camp Snoopy, and The Park at MOA. The park features roller coasters, among numerous other rides and attractions, and is the largest indoor theme park in the United States. Unlike many indoor amusement parks, Nickelodeon Universe has a great deal of natural foliage in and about the park, and its floor has a wide variance in height - the highest ground level in the park is 15 feet (4.6 m) above the lowest. This allows for a far more naturalistic experience than would normally occur in an indoor amusement park.

The park features two new roller coasters, SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge and Avatar Airbender, and a new thrill ride called BrainSurge. The latter roller coaster bills itself as a "rather peculiar" ride. It also has a miniature golfing section called Moose Mountain. This miniature golf course features eighteen holes and a relatively fast astroturf surface.

SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium

Guests travel through a 300-foot-long (91 m) curved tunnel through 14 feet (4.3 m) of water to view over 4,500 sea creatures including sharks, turtles, stingrays, and many more.[14] SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium offers special events such as sleepovers, scuba diving, snorkeling, and birthday parties.[15][16][17][18]

Other notable attractions

  • 14-screen movie theater (formerly operated by General Cinema and AMC Theaters, now operated by MOA itself as the "Theatres at Mall of America"[19])
  • LEGO Store-remodeled in 2010
  • American Girl Store-opened in 2009

Nostalgic artifacts or memorials

  • The exact seat to which Minnesota Twins player Harmon Killebrew hit his longest home run at Metropolitan Stadium on June 3, 1967. The seat is painted red and bolted to a wall at its original height and position within the stadium.[20]
  • The home plate plaque in Nickelodeon Universe denoting the exact spot of home plate at Metropolitan Stadium
    The home plate plaque in Nickelodeon Universe
  • United Airlines Flight 93 memorial, for those who died aboard during the September 11, 2001 attacks -- the bust of Tom Burnett is on the west side of the first floor, next to the fountain in front of Nordstrom.[21]

Twin Cities public events:


Junior anchors


  • Bloomingdale's 210,000 sq ft (20,000 m2)
  • Nickelodeon Universe 292,000 sq ft (27,100 m2)
  • Macy's 280,000 sq ft (26,000 m2)
  • Nordstrom 220,000 sq ft (20,000 m2)
  • Sears 177,904 sq ft (16,527.8 m2)
  • Best Buy 45,000 sq ft (4,200 m2)
  • SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium 43,886 sq ft (4,077.1 m2)
  • Abercrombie & Fitch Flagship (25,909 m)


Mall of America Transit Station
Satellite view
Station statistics
Connections Metro Transit routes 5, 54, 415, 515, 540, and 542
MVTA routes 440, 441, 442, 444, 445, and 477
Platforms Island platform
Other information
Opened December 4, 2004 (Blue Line)
September 2010 (Red Line)
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Owned by Metro Transit
Preceding station   Metro Transit   Following station
Hiawatha Line
Route 55
Preceding station   Minnesota Valley Transit Authority   Following station
Terminus Cedar Avenue Bus Rapid Transitway
Cedar Grove
toward Lakeville Cedar

The mall is used as a major transportation hub in the region, with bus and light rail service linking the mall to other destinations. Regular public transit service is provided by Metro Transit and other area bus lines, and nearby Mystic Lake Casino offers free shuttles to their establishment. The primary bus/rail station for scheduled local service is in the lower level of the eastern parking ramp. There, the Blue Line light rail line connects the mall to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and from there to downtown Minneapolis (another major shopping destination in the region, particularly during weekdays) and terminates at Target Field home of the Minnesota Twins (MLB baseball team). The mall is being discouraged as a park and ride facility, and overnight parking is banned to prevent passengers taking the train to the airport. Commuters are encouraged to use the nearby 28th Avenue Station's parking lot. The mall is the first stop on the Red Line and the nineteenth, final stop on the Blue Line.

Security abuses

On September 7, 2011, NPR's All Things Considered aired a program and posted hyperlinks documenting security abuses by private security personnel at the Mall of America.[22] PBS's Newshour aired its version of the story the same day.[23] Morning Edition has since followed up with its own reportage. [24]

At the mall people have been questioned or detained for operating video cameras, using notebooks, or other suspicious behavior. Mike Rozin, the leader of the malls special security unit instructs its members that suspicious behavior constitutes “photographing such things as air-conditioning ducts or signs that a shopper might have something to hide” [25].

Commander Jim Ryan of the Bloomington Police Department commented that the malls security methods may “infringe on some freedoms, unfortunately.”[26]. [27].


  • Where Something Special Happens Every Day (1992)
  • The Ultimate One-Stop Shop (1993)
  • Your Life. Your Style. Your Place. (1994)
  • America's Shining Bright on You! (1995)
  • America, You're the One! (1996)
  • The Spirit of America (1997)
  • Be There or Be Square! (1998)
  • America's Lovin' It! (1999)
  • Mall of America 2000: Celebrate the New Millenium! (2000)
  • The Mall That Remembers America (2001; used after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001)
  • Where You're Looking Good! (2002)
  • Red, White and You (2003)
  • More Ways to Be You (2007) (still embedded on mall's gift cards)
  • The New Home of Nickelodeon Universe (2008; used to celebrate the opening of Nickelodeon Universe)
  • The Place for Fun (2009)
  • More Stores. More Value. (2010)
  • America Loves MOA (2010–present)

Amusement park and other Mall features

See also


  1. ^ The Mall of America
  2. ^ Sandra Larriva and Gabe Weisert (April 25, 2007). "Most Visited Tourist Attractions". Forbes Traveler. 
  3. ^ JOSHUA FREED, AP Business Writer (March 22, 2007). "Mall of America wants biggest mall title". Associated Press. 
  4. ^ Mall of America - Facts
  5. ^ Faiza Elmasry (10 October 2006). "America's Largest Mall Offers More than Shopping". Voice of America. 
  6. ^ WCCO - TV (25 January 2008). "". 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Star Tribune (LexisNexis Search), Brothers win back control of megamall; Simon Property will contest a ruling that transfers majority ownership., September 12, 2003.
  9. ^ Sam Black, Ghermezians take sole control of Mall of America in $1B deal, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, November 3, 2006.
  10. ^ a b Carissa Wyant, MOA signs Great Wolf water park for Phase 2, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, July 26, 2007.
  11. ^ Steven Swain,
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Carissa Wyant (2008-09-09). "Mall of America movie theaters getting makeover". Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. 
  20. ^ a b "Baseball at the Mall". Dusty Lens. March 11, 2008. 
  21. ^ Roland Merullo (2006-05-13). "Who Financed 9/11?". Reader's Digest Australia. 
  22. ^ "Under Suspicion at the Mall of America". 
  23. ^ "Attention Mall Shoppers: Are You Engaging in Suspicious Activity?". 
  24. ^ "Mall Counterterrorism Files ID Mostly Minorities". 
  25. ^ "They're watching at the Mall of America". 
  26. ^ "They're watching at the Mall of America". 
  27. ^ "The shadow of suspicion falls in the Mall of America". 

External links

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