Addition size: 81,085 square feet
Height: Two stories
Architect: A359 Architecture, Cincinnati
Details: Minnetonka Planning Commission members last week got their first look at the proposed 81,085-square-foot expansion of the Ridgedale Center Macy’s department store as well as other elements of mall owner General Growth Properties’ three-phase plan to transform Ridgedale into an upscale “fashion center.”
Macy’s will expand one of its two stores at the mall, while the second will be closed and razed to make way for a 138,000-square-foot Nordstrom department store anchor in the second phase. A later phase will see three new restaurant “pads” created in the northwest corner of the Ridgedale site.
The commission recommended that the City Council approve the master plan and heard more details about the Macy’s store improvements from Bob Rich of A359 Architecture, who unveiled renderings that revealed a near complete transformation of the store’s exterior.
They showed new full-height, 40-foot entrances and “iconic” white pearlescent architectural metal panels, which Rich said were consistent with Macy’s philosophy of using “the building as the brand.”
The commission also followed a staff recommendation to deny Macy’s request for a sign variance for 11-foot-tall store logos, which the panel said exceed limits set by Ridgedale’s covenants with the city. The panel dismissed Rich’s argument that logos aren’t signs in the traditional sense, but integral design elements.
“The codes that where written 25 years ago are not appropriate for today’s fashion-branded stores,” he said.
Don Jacobson is a St. Paul freelance writer. He can be contacted at email@example.com.