The mall became the largest shopping center in the United States when it opened in 1992. However, the mall is not and has never been the largest in the world; that distinction falls to the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which reached the Mall of America's approximate size by 1985, had the title of the largest mall in the world.
However, the Mall of Arabia inside Dubai Land in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will get completed in 2006. It will take the honor of being the world's largest shopping mall.
The Mall of America has a gross area of 4.2 million square feet, with 2.5 million square feet available as retail space.
The mall is a nearly symmetrical building, with a roughly rectangular floor plan. Over 520 stores arrarged along four pedestrian walkways on the sides of the rectangle. Four "anchor" department stores are located at the corners. An amusement park called Camp Snoopy fills the center of the rectangle. The mall employs over 12,000 workers.
Two nearly identical parking ramps on East and West sides provide approximately 13,000 parking spaces. Parking lots on the North and South of the building, along with nearby overflow parking, bring the total number of spaces up to approximately 20,000.
Despite being located in Minnesota, the mall is largely unheated. Enough heat is allowed in through skylights above Camp Snoopy, produced by lighting fixtures and other devices, and produced by the employees and guests of the mall to keep it comfortable. Only the mall's entrances are heated.
The mall is located along Interstate 494, and is across the highway from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It has a station on the local Hiawatha Light Rail network (still under construction as of May, 2003).
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2 Notable Attractions
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The Mall of America is located in the same area of Bloomington as the former Metropolitan Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins played until the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome opened. The teams left Met Stadium in 1982.
In 1986, The Bloomington Port Authority signed an agreement with the Ghermezian Organization, who had previously worked on the West Edmonton Mall.
Groundbreaking for the mall took place on June 14, 1989. Organizations involved include Melvin Simon and Associates, Teachers Assurance and Annuity, and the Triple Five Group.
The mall opened its doors to the public in 1992.
Many significant expansions to the mall have been proposed, but they have run into safety issues because of the mall's proximity to an airport.