Latest Nicollet Mall redesign presented

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May 14, 2014 // UPDATED 11:01 am - May 16, 2014
By: Ben Johnson
An aerial view of the "Nicollet Mile"
James Corner Field Operations
Ben Johnson

The team responsible for planning the Nicollet Mall redesign was back in Minneapolis today to present an updated vision on the project.

There weren’t any major changes made since the last update in February; a lot of the recent work involved figuring out more nuanced details, like identifying specific locations where trees could be planted. The project is now officially dubbed “Nicollet Mile,” because Nicollet Mall is roughly one mile long.

The Nicollet Mile team is led by James Corner from New York City-based James Corner Field Operations. Corner divided the project into five different areas.

From north to south: Mississippi Woods (Washington Ave. to 4th Street), North Grove (4th Street to 6th Street), The Island (6th Street to 8th Street), South Grove (8th Street to 12th Street), and Loring Woods (12th Street to Grant Street).

Each area has amenities tailored to existing uses and utilities already in place, and one signature feature.

Mississippi Woods has the “Theatre in the Round,” an small, oval-shaped stage for musicians or other artists, North Grove has a seating slope for people to relax on, South Grove has a similar structure called “The Reading Room,” and Loring Woods has two fire pits.

The Island has flashiest feature in Nicollet Mile. Plans show two glass staircases descending from the skyways spanning Nicollet on either side of 7th Street, leading pedestrians into a two-block center island created by splitting traffic to the edge of the street in between 6th Street and 8th Street.

The budget for Nicollet Mile is $50 million. Minneapolis hoped to get $25 million from this year’s state bonding bill, and pay the other half through an assessment on the businesses lining Nicollet. Currently the state bonding bill has $21.5 million allocated for Nicollet Mall, although that is still subject to ongoing negotiation.