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Keeping Nostalgia and Entertainment Alive: The Mall of America

Greg Hollenkamp

The history of the mall concept has two timelines – before the Mall of America and after. As the Mall of America celebrates its 30th-anniversary milestone, the retail giant is raising the bar for the industry worldwide. In 1989, when the concept was put to paper and before the mall gained a huge fan base, DLR Group was a fast fan of the mall. Our partnership has been seen through all phases of design and construction, 20+ strategic master plan studies for investors, developers, partners, infrastructure, and expansion, and dozens of designs for retail shops. We have provided integrated sector expertise, including retail, entertainment, hotel, workplace, parking, transportation, and master planning to bring the aspirations of Triple Five to life in the form of the largest mall in the U.S. To say we’re proud to help transform the ingenious become a tangible reality is an understatement.

Reinventing Retail

The opening of the first indoor mall in 1956 catapulted retail into a social experience. America’s pastime of perusing shops and spending time with family and friends through shopping was transformed in 1992 when MOA opened its doors. What has set this mall apart from the others for the last three decades? Its ability to give visitors what they want before they even realize what that is for themselves. Triple Five uses its keen sense for anticipating the next retail trend, elevating MOA above others like it.

Making (Another) Splash

Turning away from the typical and racing towards the unexpected, Triple Five and DLR Group created an environment that brings the entertainment industry into retail with a dynamic design that changes as the consumer does and houses spaces like an aquarium, a movie theatre, a comedy club, Camp Snoopy, Nickelodeon Universe, countless restaurants, a JW Marriott, and more. MOA isn’t just a one-stop shop for all things retail but keeps visitors coming back through a space carefully designed to evoke nostalgia dovetailed with the lure of modern entertainment that folks of all ages can enjoy. After 30 years, four significant renovations, and 520 retail shops over 5.6 million SF, we are helping bring the mall’s next big thing to fruition: seven acres of theme park, including the widely anticipated 350,00-SF indoor water park.

A Partnership for the Ages

MOA is in the business of keeping its visitors wanting to come back for more because there’s something new to explore each time they return. This says something about the retail and entertainment industries: they must be dynamic to stay relevant. MOA is reinventing itself through each renovation and addition, and the worldwide awe and support of this space fuel our organization’s zeal to give the people what they want. It’s remarkable to be a part of something that has left lasting memories with so many people across the globe and provides endless inspiration for our team.

See the evolution of the Mall of America. 

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