Nicollet Mall Transformation

Competition Update

Please review the revised RFQ for the Nicollet Mall Design Competition on the City of Minneapolis Website (Revised RFQ). In response to feedback from the design community, the RFQ has been revised to clarify and simplify the design competition portion of the work. A single, one-day visit will be required at the end of the process (rather than two visits) and expectations for the design work and final submission have been simplified/clarified. The submission deadline has been extended until Friday, May 31.

The City of Minneapolis is now accepting qualifications from design teams interested in working on a complete redesign of Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Qualifications are due now due Friday, May 31, 2013, by 2:30 p.m (see update). The qualifications will be used to identify the four most qualified urban design teams, and those four teams will be asked to submit a proposal for the project. For more informatinon, see the request for qualifications (pdf). You can also see a list of resources and frequently asked questions that provides valuable background information for design teams.

About the project

Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian and transit corridor running through the heart of downtown Minneapolis, is in need of a renovation. The City, in partnership with the Minneapolis Downtown Council, is spearheading an effort to redesign and renovate the mall. The completed project will be a first-class, contemporary mall that will keep downtown Minneapolis vibrant and will help spur growth for the metro area and the state for decades.

The mall is much more than a place to go for food and fun. Around 13,000 people work within a block of it. Hundreds of employers (US Bank, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise Financial, Target, Macy’s, Fallon Worldwide, RBC Dain, Dorsey & Whitney and Piper Jaffray, to name a few) identify the downtown public realm experience – and Nicollet Mall in particular – as central to recruiting top businesses and talent to the state. Keeping the mall up to date is key to keeping Minnesota attractive to investors.

The reconstructed Nicollet Mall will combine high-quality urban design with appropriate materials and systems to create a public space that’s both beautiful and durable. The project will link green spaces, shops and offices. It will also cement Nicollet Mall’s position as the region’s premiere business, transit and entertainment connection and encourage new investment and development.

Designed in the 1960s and re-built in the late 1980s, Nicollet Mall is now at the end of its useful life, with ongoing maintenance and repair costs rising to the point where it’s no longer a prudent use of funds. Plus, the way we use the mall has changed since its last redesign, so a renovation will create a mall that better able to serve the community and businesses. Back in the1960s, we had no idea that downtown Minneapolis today would have 160,000 employees and 36,000 residents. The original Nicollet Mall plan didn’t account for that, nor did it factor in the sidewalk dining, parades, festivals and farmers market that are now a part of the Nicollet Mall experience. The new mall will be built to better serve these purposes.

The plan

The project will include the complete reconstruction of the street and sidewalks from building face to building face, for the 12 blocks between Washington Avenue and Grant Street. The City would like to see construction completed by 2016.

A design competition will be conducted to obtain alternative visions for a future Nicollet Mall. It will begin with a “request for qualifications (pdf)” process, to identify the four most qualified urban design teams. Those four teams will be asked to submit a proposal and will each receive a stipend of $30,000 to defray some of the costs of participating in the competition. Each team will have eight weeks to complete and submit their visions and designs for consideration.

The competition process will culminate in fall 2013 with the selection of the winning design team, which will be retained by the City of Minneapolis to execute the detailed schematic design for the Nicollet Mall reconstruction.

Nicollet Mall reconstruction is expected to cost around $30 million to $40 million, with funding coming from a combination of State of Minnesota bond proceeds and assessments of surrounding property owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated Nov. 25, 2013