Mall of ‘Merica, part deux

Just when you thought our late twentieth century obsession with malls and parking was over, you hear a story like this:

Minnesota House and Senate leaders are backing a tax subsidy to expand Mall of America in Bloomington. The mall is seeking state and local help to build a parking ramp as part of the expansion that will add 5.6 million square feet of new retail, lodging and and entertainment space

Mind you, the mall already comprises 4.2 million square feet.  And guess what they can do with all that?

2 Victoria’s Secrets
2 Claire’s
2 Bath and Body Works (only 1 Body Shop, though)
2 Perfumanias
2 At&T’s
2 Gamestops
2 T Mobiles
3 Mall of America gift store’s
A pair of sunglass huts
2 America Eagles
5 different kinds of Gap stores
3 caribou coffee’s
2 starbucks
2 auntie anne’s
and of course, two panda expresses

And much, much more.

The Minnesota legislature is so stoked about this, because of the 7,000 construction jobs it will create.  Plus, it’s a bargain, because they only forgive some stupid taxes on the construction, and then when it’s all built, WHAMMO!  tax revenues enough to fill Victoria’s Secret 4 more times over.

I don’t know the numbers.  The mall site claims that no public dollars are going towards paying for it (other than forgone taxes). So I’m not mad that the state is misusing public funds.  The fact that this is so bi-partisan a bill convinces me that Minnesota will probably make out well in the offing.

But instinctively, I just feel that the law of diminishing returns is going to apply sooner or later.  They propose to double the size of the mall – it’s slightly unclear who’s clamoring for MOA lease space – but I just can’t think of what they’re going to fill it with.

I suppose that with a mall that size, you’re going to need a few more Yankee Candles.

But parking lots and malls.  This, when the Twin Cities is a decade away from choking on its own growth – build a goddamn transportation system.

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