Which of these three re-design finalists has the best vision for Nicollet Mall? [POLL]

Categories: Minneapolis
The farmers market on the current incarnation of Nicollet Mall, which struggles with broken light poles, poor irrigation, and high-maintenance sidewalks.
Nicollet Mall hasn't gotten a facelift since the late-1980s, and the decades haven't been kind to Minneapolis's slowly-crumbling main street. Seeking solutions, in April, the city sponsored a contest calling for re-designs.

After 21 teams replied, the city winnowed the firms down to four, then three, and gave them a summer assignment: Come up with a new concept for the 12-block stretch of downtown. Now, the preliminary proposals are in.

See Also:
- New development in Minneapolis: Is it really as cookie-cutter as people say?

While the full plans will be unveiled Sept. 17 in a ceremony at the Guthrie Theater, today, the city released some context-free teasers. Berkeley-based Tom Leader Studio with !melk submitted a proposal that seems to show groovy skyways and designated spaces for a market and food trucks. The rendering from New York's James Corner Field Operations reveals people lounging in sidewalk cafes. And Montreal firm Daoust Lestage plans for lots of trees, benches, and market stalls.

Still uncertain is who will pick up the tab for the project, which will cost an estimated $30 million to $40 million. The city has already authorized $500,000 for project planning, the Downtown Journal reported, and hopes to cover the rest through a still-pending $20 million state bond and to-be-determined assessment fees on private businesses.

The city plans to select a design this October, and have everything else hammered out in time to begin construction in 2015.

We'll have the full details on the proposals when they're released next Tuesday, but for now, snap judgment time: Based on these views, which concept do you want to see become the new Nicollet Mall? Let us know in a survey below the images, and click on each one for a closer look.

Option A:
Tom Leader Studio via city of Minneapolis
Option B:
James Corner Field Operations via city of Minneapolis
Option C:
Daoust Lestage via city of Minneapolis
What do you think?

survey solution

-- Reach Olivia LaVecchia at olavecchia@citypages.com or on Twitter at @olavecchia

My Voice Nation Help
Jamie Grimm
Jamie Grimm

They should turn it into a strip full of Burlesque bars, tattoo parlors, Korean massage parlors and taco wagons.

Christopher Shillock
Christopher Shillock

Frankly I don't like any of them are any better than what's there now. Lets save some money & just keep up repairs & maintenance.

kennyX topcommenter

Get rid of the buses! The bus trash who hang out on Nicollet Mall is what makes it miserable for normal people to enjoy the mall. Send all of the ghetto-bound buses over to Hennepin or Washington. 


Whatever happens, I hope they take the buses off of this stupid bottleneck of a street.  It already causes every bus that goes down it at rush hour to be off schedule.

CinBlueland topcommenter

They all look great!! Just make sure they add an arcade and planet hollywood and no law enforcement. All three will be as successful as Block E.


Does option A imply tearing down City Center?  It seems to be gone in that rendering (and the Wells Fargo building seems to have moved a half block to the west).

Option B looks like what's there right now, with the added hint of a streetcar.

Option C, which removes non-pedestrian traffic is the way to go, but it won't happen.


I Think A has the best year round  option. Take into consideration NOV-MARCH it's kinda cold out.

Matt Touchette
Matt Touchette

Kind of looks like Option C gets rid of the road completely.


I like "c", but the central aisle should alternate different days for parking of food trucks , farmers market stalls, artisan booths, food carts, etc.,

Amber Rae
Amber Rae

I agree! A is ok, but I expected more. :)

Bright Spencer
Bright Spencer

I don't care for any of them. There should be seating, more openings between center shopping, more shade by far.


I like "C," with the block-long vegetable cart being towed down the center of the street...:)

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault