Mall of America - Bloomington

Twin Cities Suburbs
Silophant
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby Silophant » April 26th, 2016, 5:14 pm

acs wrote:Actually if there's two maxims that have consistently held true about corporate headquarters in the region its: 1) if you're a west metro company, you stay in the west metro, and vice versa for the East. Companies rarely move their headquarters "across" the river, and 2) once you move city to suburb, you don't go back, you only move suburbs.
ECMC is moving from Oakdale to downtown Minneapolis.

Arctic Cat is moving from Plymouth to the North Loop.

mulad
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby mulad » April 26th, 2016, 8:36 pm

[Argh, it's long. Sorry.]

I've been about 90% sure of this for a while, since I manage some lab space in the St. Paul facility and needed to provide some info to plan for the move, but based on the brief description given to me, I wasn't entirely certain it was this building. Anyway, I kept quiet, and figured it wasn't official until it was official.

I've personally been boycotting the mall since the Black Lives Matter protest two Christmases ago -- I wasn't a participant in that, though I was very unhappy with the way the mall treated the protesters, required proprietors to close up shop, and pushed for prosecution afterward. Add that to the subsidies gifted to the mall for the expansion, and I felt compelled to try and keep my dollars in Saint Paul or Minneapolis if I could. So I was crossing my fingers and hoping for a move to Minneapolis if nothing could be found in Saint Paul.

Like David, I figured one good possibility was going over to the Railroad and Bank building (180 East 5th) -- I think it has a lot more overall floor space than the office part of the Galtier complex. The available office space is pretty constrained on the first, second, and third floors of Galtier due to the corner residential towers, the law office building that's still on the southwest corner, the atrium and skyways, the YMCA, and the theater on the third floor. That all really chops up the floor plate. By contrast, the Railroad and Bank building has a center light well and some accommodation for ground-floor entrances and skyways, but that's about it.

Anyway, an employee poll had been conducted a while back, where people were given the choice of a downtown Saint Paul, downtown Minneapolis, or suburban location. It wasn't revealed until quite recently that the poll showed a strong preference for a suburban site. I'm frustrated that this hadn't been communicated to employees, nor were we given any chance to lobby for one general area over another. If I'd thought about it early enough, I should have mentioned to someone that over 75% of the Twin Cities population lives in the suburbs, which leads to a strong inherent bias. Any percentage less than 75% in favor of suburbs could be interpreted as a preference for one of the downtowns, but as I said, that info came along pretty late.

And yes, concerns about parking were likely a big driver of it too. A perhaps inadvertent reply-all response to the poll announcement included a question along the lines of "Can we mention in the poll that we want free parking?". Perhaps I should have asked if we could get free transit passes at the new site.

I had given my preference in the order of 1) downtown Minneapolis, 2) downtown Saint Paul, and 3) suburbs, but it probably works out that the mall is better for my commute as things stand today. I can just hop on the bus in the opposite direction and get there, but the travel time will probably be about twice as long.

I'd like to move back to Minneapolis someday. I enjoyed myself more on that side of the river. At least the mall isn't too far from south Minneapolis, so I have some options there. Being downtown would have let me choose almost any site in the city and still be in a generally bus-able time/distance, and the bike infrastructure is a bit better. I have a coworker who has been looking at how he could get from his south Minneapolis home to the mall by bike, and it seems doable aside from a scary bit at the end navigating the busy streets that cross I-494 and then heading along American Boulevard to reach the Ikea lot.

Perhaps the best thing about the mall site is that it would give the company way more visibility to women than it would otherwise get. Like almost the entire technology industry, the gender balance of the workforce is completely out of whack, and putting the company at a site that probably has 2/3 female foot traffic is one of the closest things you're going to get to a silver bullet in that regard. There's a limit to what can be done, considering the number of women getting computer science or related degrees is really low these days, but it's something.

I remember scanning the room in my CSci classes in college and realizing that among the tiny number of women there, most of them were from other countries. The level to which women (especially American women) had rejected any sort of study of computers at that time was just mindboggling, and I'm not sure it's gotten any better lately. That's also contributed to me having just about the least-fulfilling dating record a guy can have, considering I don't like drunking and bars were still choked with cigarette smoke during my college years and a few years beyond when I might have been getting comfortable with that scene.

The tech gender imbalance is one of the reasons why I'd generally prefer a downtown site -- at least a guy can go for a walk around the block and cross paths with some people not with the company to remind himself that eligible members of the opposite sex still exist. Of course, with downtown Saint Paul being downtown Saint Paul, and with workers at some major employers elevatoring straight into parking garages at the end of the day, that can still be a challenge. The mall provides for a unique exception.

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby HiawathaGuy » April 27th, 2016, 8:21 am

mulad wrote:I have a coworker who has been looking at how he could get from his south Minneapolis home to the mall by bike, and it seems doable aside from a scary bit at the end navigating the busy streets that cross I-494 and then heading along American Boulevard to reach the Ikea lot.
The new Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail opened through Richfield last fall: http://richfieldsweetstreets.org/icrt
This route should make any trip from South Minneapolis to MOA a lot easier for your coworker. Or, they can bike to the Blue Line, and get off at the 28th Ave S station, biking the rest of the way on Lindau to the new office.

billhelm
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby billhelm » April 27th, 2016, 10:06 am

My wife works in a building by the MOA and we live in South Minneapolis near 48th and Chicago... her commute is cake.

mattaudio
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby mattaudio » April 27th, 2016, 10:52 am

If I worked at this building, I would be frustrated that my last-mile between the transit station and the office lobby would be a walk through a privately-controlled heavily-regulated space, rather than along a public street. I have similar concerns to mulad about the nature of the MOA and other similar places being quasi-public place frameworks despite being private property where the property owner's wishes override civil liberties. I already have qualms about the MOA TS being on private property, or the new Hennepin County Service Center being on Southdale private property. Granted, this is a private officing decision and not a public service on private land, but it's still a count against working for Cray in the future in my opinion.

Didier
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby Didier » April 27th, 2016, 2:01 pm

It's really no different than getting dropped off on Nicollet Mall and walking through the Crystal Court and the skyway to get to an office. And if you were really concerned about having to walk through the mall, technically there's a sidewalk the eventually gets you there too.

David Greene
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby David Greene » April 27th, 2016, 3:26 pm

Or get off at 28th Ave. and walk. Compared to everything else, it's a non-issue to me. Cray is a great place to work.

Malladmirer
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby Malladmirer » May 7th, 2016, 8:55 am

Does anybody know when they plan on breaking ground for the next part of the Mall? I know they said Spring but Spring is going to go fast.

I know they say it will be done Oct 2018

Qhaberl
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby Qhaberl » May 7th, 2016, 9:07 am

If they said spring. They only have about a month left.


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TroyGBiv
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby TroyGBiv » May 8th, 2016, 12:12 am

From the October 2, 2015 Startribune... "If approved, construction on the $500 million project would begin as early as April with a grand opening scheduled for the fall of 2018."....I'm not sure where they are in terms of approval?

Qhaberl
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby Qhaberl » May 23rd, 2016, 11:25 am

I have tried to check the Bloomington planning commissions agendas at least once a month. I haven't seen anything about the mall America development. It is very possible that I missed it


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matthew5080
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby matthew5080 » May 24th, 2016, 1:37 pm


none
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby none » May 27th, 2016, 7:48 pm

I'm late to join the discussion, but I did find a copy of what might be the MOA Phase 2B planning document that was submitted to the city for approval. I believe the project was approved.

At times it's hard to download, so be patient, and you'll see it in all its 40-page PDF glory:
http://finance-commerce.com/files/2015/ ... erings.pdf

Retail businesses do not seem to be in good shape right now, even the high-end ones MOA wants for Phase 2B. It also includes another hotel, another spec office building, more parking, more stuff. Isn't construction supposed to start this year? We'll see.

none
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby none » May 28th, 2016, 9:06 am

none wrote:At times it's hard to download... http://finance-commerce.com/files/2015/ ... erings.pdf
It downloaded quickly yesterday, at the time I posted. 32122872 bytes, with Chrome browser. Today it hangs near the end, with both Firefox and Chrome. Other people have mentioned this problem in the past few weeks. Sometimes the download finishes.

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Anondson
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby Anondson » May 28th, 2016, 9:11 am

Worked with me just now on my iPhone with Safari.

nBode
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby nBode » May 28th, 2016, 9:48 am

I'm curious as to why IKEA is shown as 2A?

none
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby none » May 28th, 2016, 10:57 am

Sometimes the download finishes
Came back a couple hours later, and the download had finished, and the PDF is readable. Strange.
I'm curious as to why IKEA is shown as 2A?
I don't know if Ikea was originally planned as 2A, or somebody came along later and named it 2A. That planning approval was in 2003, I think -- but after the city web site redesign last year, good luck finding anything.

QuietBlue
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby QuietBlue » May 28th, 2016, 12:02 pm

I know that a lot of people want Uniqlo to come to MOA, but given how much the company is struggling in the US, I don't see it as likely:

http://fortune.com/2016/05/25/uniqlo-sa ... -s-stores/

maxbaby
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby maxbaby » May 31st, 2016, 2:51 pm

QuietBlue wrote:I know that a lot of people want Uniqlo to come to MOA, but given how much the company is struggling in the US, I don't see it as likely:

http://fortune.com/2016/05/25/uniqlo-sa ... -s-stores/
According to the article. It said they will be opening 100 new stores in the U.S. over the next few years.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Mall of America - Bloomington

Postby min-chi-cbus » May 31st, 2016, 5:02 pm

That'd suck then if they opened 100 and yet none of them were in MN.


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