An excited Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson is pleased that Gov. Mark Dayton included the $25 million Nicollet Mall re-design project in his $775 million bonding bill.
“It offers a chance to re-think the Mall,” said Johnson, “There’s a lot of opportunity for spicing it up.”
In recent years, complaints about broken sidewalk tiles, fountains that no longer work and lighting in need of replacement have dominated discussions about the future of the Mall.
“The Mall has changed so dramatically,” said Johnson who recalls that the center of activity was once where Seventh and Eighth streets cross the Mall, but the focal point has moved south to the new Target Store.
The emphasis has changed, too.
“It has really become more of a restaurant road than the retail road that it was,” said Johnson.
She is eager to see what can be done to link the new Mall design to the Mississippi River on one end and to Loring Park and the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden on the other end.
Johnson says she’s also looking forward to the combination of the new Mall with the newly designed Peavy Plaza at Orchestra Hall.