After more than two years of construction headaches, downtown Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall is reopening — yes, really — on Nov. 15.
Earlier this year, city officials pledged the project would be “substantially complete” by November. If all goes according to plan, that pledge will be carried out in just a few weeks.
The city and Downtown Council are hosting a Nov. 15 reopening celebration on Nicollet Mall between 7th and 8th streets, from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Nicollet Mall has been closed to vehicles since July 2015, and underground utility work lasted about a year. In recent months, progress has been more visible: Trees have been planted, public art has been installed and construction barricades have come down.
The $50 million project has been a source of frustration for pedestrians struggling to navigate the corridor and business owners who say the ongoing construction has been bad for business.
Alain Lenne, who owns La Belle Crepe, estimates he lost $200,000 to $250,000 during the two years of construction. The warmer months are his busiest time, he said, so he’ll have to wait until next summer to see if things improve.
In the meantime, he said he’s contemplating a new ad for his restaurant: “Florida has flooding, California has fires, Minnesota has Nicollet Mall. We all survived. Please come and enjoy my $50 million patio.”