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BLOOMINGTON, MN-A 300,000-sf destination retailer and a 6,000-seat performing arts complex are key components of the $1 billion-plus Phase II expansion planned for the Mall of America. Mall officials say they hope to begin construction on the 5.6-million-sf, mixed-use project in mid-2007, with delivery slated for 2010 or 2011. At a Nov. 27 press conference, Mall officials also announced plans for a new roller coaster in the Park at MOA, a new 200-room hotel, and a new restaurant slated to open in the existing 4.2-million-sf complex.

Maureen Bausch, vice president of business development for the Mall of America, tells GlobeSt.com that multiple studies have helped shape the mall’s current expansion plans. “This particular center is more of an attraction than a mall,” she says. Bass Pro Shops, which will lease about 300,000 sf, is the anchor for the mall’s second phase. Meanwhile, AEW of Los Angeles is partnering with mall owners Triple Five to develop the 6,000-seat auditorium that will be designed for music and dance performances. Bloomington City Council recently approved the preliminary development plan.

A spokesman for Bass Pro Shops tells GlobeSt.com that the destination retailer is a logical fit for the Mall of America, the number one tourist destination in the Midwest. He adds that Bass Pro Shops’ 330,000-sf flagship location in Springfield is one of the largest tourist attractions in the state of Missouri. Few specifics about the company’s first Minnesota outpost have been released, but the spokesperson says it will highlight the state’s outdoor heritage with local artifacts and photos. The store will also feature a variety of outdoor displays and murals, waterfalls, aquariums and may include an Islamorada Fish Company restaurant. There are currently 58 Bass Pro Shops that exist or are being developed in the US and Canada.

Also among the newest Mall of America attractions will be Cantina Corona, a 13,000-sf restaurant featuring Mexican food and specialty beers, a 200-room Klimpton Hotel, and the Gerstlauer Euro upside-down roller coaster. The restaurant, which is the first Corona-branded eatery, is scheduled to open in early 2007. Construction of the luxury boutique hotel, which will be attached to the south area of the mall, will begin in 2007. The roller coaster is slated for completion in 2008.

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