PigsEye wrote:Wow Nicollet mall must have been flipping epic in it's day! two blocks of 4 story retail plus several other blocks of department stores! I guess it was the "Original Mall Of America!" It's a shame our metro can't support both.
I'm not sure I'd conclude that it was ever successful. Or at least not successful in the era of Gavididea, which my memory says dates to the 1990s (might been late 80s, not sure). The site used to be Donaldson's, before the big fire.
None of the attempts to build downtown malls - including City Center, Gaviidea and Block E - seemed to last terribly long as malls, although obviously well before that Dayton's and Donaldson and the like were successful in the pre-mall era.
The biggest problem with City Center, both of the Gaviidee's, and the now tore down Conservatory it that they were built to be stand alone malls. They at best had one entrance into the malls from the mall. You never could really see what was on the levels above you or around the corners. Most people did not know what was in the malls and developers thought just because vertical worked in Chicago/New York it would work here too. They assumed that people would just keep taking the escalators up to see what was up there. Problem being most of the people shopping downtown were time pressed office workers so they wanted to go where they needed to go. They did not have the leisure of wandering a vertical mall like they could have done back when the tourist oriented vertical malls in Chicago came into style. Even malls like Rosedale and Ridgedale, people really no longer take time to spend an hour or two wandering the mall for bargains anymore. The south part of the mall that is thriving has several doors on each block, while they be mostly restaurants, other shops with street entrances seem do well also.
PS, Gaviidee opened shortly after the Norwest/Wells Fargo Tower opened. Can't remember which of the Twins World Series that they had GO Twins in big letters across one of the floors as it was being build that had not gotten the exterior put up yet. So that would mean 1988 or 1992 would have been the possible years for the First Gaviidee to open. The other opened about 4-5 years later.