Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis Downtown Council President and CEO Steve Cramer and City Council Members Lisa Goodman and Jacob Frey today announced the Nicollet Mall Project’s next steps and timeline at a press conference on Nicollet Mall outside IDS Center.
The press conference outlined a three-phase process by which Nicollet Mall will be finished, with substantial completion by the end of 2017 and finishing touches in spring/summer of 2018.
"We’ve already seen progress in 2016, with more to come this year and next as we work toward completion in 2018,” said Mayor Hodges. “It’s exciting to experience all the vibrancy this unique, public-private partnership will bring to Minneapolis’ signature street. With Nicollet Mall serving as a centerpiece, we continue to create a highly attractive, world-class, 21st-Century City.”
“The Nicollet Mall project is the product of years of partnership and shared vision between the city and downtown business community,” said Council Member Lisa Goodman.
With the project’s utilities work complete, the next step is block-by-block deconstruction and installment of new sidewalks and roadways, several of which will be completed by November 2016. By fall of 2017, all underground and surface work is slated to be complete, and streets will be open to pedestrians and buses.
Workers then will install details of the redesign, including streetlights, trees, shrubs and other plants. Overall, the Nicollet Mall Project will add enhanced greening – including the Loring Woods and Mississippi Woods on the tips of the 12-block reconstruction project, pedestrian-friendly features like straightened walkways with sidewalk seating curb-aligned, and vibrant features like the Art Walk and Light Walk.
Wednesday’s press conference also featured a performance by MacPhail Center for Music piano instructor Jon Iverson on one of downtown’s Pianos on Parade pianos, highlighting the added programming along Nicollet Mall once the project is complete.
“We’re on the clock. We have a deadline, and the actual construction piece of the Nicollet Mall Project is now starting,” Cramer said. “As we continue to move forward, downtown workers, residents and visitors will see Minneapolis evolve before their eyes. Through enhanced greening and placemaking, Nicollet Mall truly will be a must-see destination for years to come.”
Launching The Minneapolis Big Build
In addition, Cramer announced the launch of The Minneapolis Big Build, a development campaign led by the Minneapolis Downtown Council, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District and Meet Minneapolis. This campaign showcases the more than a dozen major projects that are transforming the city and represent a total investment of approximately $2 billion. The Minneapolis Big Build includes a website (www.mplsbuild.com) with regular project updates and signage around town showcasing what Minneapolis will look like once the work is complete.
“Between the Nicollet Mall redesign, various downtown street projects, the opening of the new U.S. Bank Stadium and The Commons Park and a major renovation to Target Center, among other current projects, the heart of Minneapolis will be bolder, greener and more inviting than ever,” Cramer said. “As part of the Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan, we’re focused on creating an extraordinary downtown. These projects are doing that one step at a time, emphasizing Minneapolis truly is a city that’s transforming in a big way.”
“This is a defining moment for our city as all these projects come to fruition at the same time,” said Melvin Tennant, President & CEO of Meet Minneapolis. “The Minneapolis Big Build will help us celebrate these updates and additions as we look forward to how they will impact Minneapolis for decades to come. These tremendous projects will help solidify Minneapolis as the destination of choice for visitors, conventions and events.”