At 4.2 million square feet, The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. is already one of the biggest malls in the U.S. — and the most visited, with 40 million visitors per year,
But starting this fall, the mall is planning to add up to 5.6 million square feet of space in hopes of drawing an additional 20 million visitors annually.
According to the mall’s website, the new expansion will aim to attract customers with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more.
Unlike the existing mall, the new stores and lodging options will be in a “boutique” style. The expansion will also add up to 8,000 parking spaces.
The mall has become something of a shopping destination for wealthy tourists from Asia and Europe, and international visitors have been known to spend up to 2.5 times more than domestic customers, according to the Pioneer Press.
Management wants to cater to these higher-income customers by putting an emphasis on luxury retailers and by offering features like valet parking, a wellness center, multiple spas, a permanent museum-quality exhibition space.
They’ve already added a Radisson Blu Hotel, which is part of an Radisson’s upscale chain. The mall is also looking to up the quality of its food offerings; food courts will be known as “food halls” and menus will feature less pizza and soda in favor of more sushi and wine.
The expansion will end up costing about $2.5 billion in total and will take place in several stages, according to the Pioneer Press. The first phase of construction will begin this fall and will cost about $250 million, adding about 50 new stores and expanding the mall to the north.
The Pioneer Press also reports that among the new amenities will be a state-of-the-art water park and accompanying resort with 300 to 400 rooms and an NHL-sized indoor skating rink.