Expanding the shopping mall experience.
When Southdale Center opened in Edina, MN in 1956, it was the mall of the future. In fact, it was the first fully enclosed mall in the country, kicking off a shopping center boom across the nation. Over the past 60 years, the mall has been expanded and renovated, but has remained true to architect Victor Gruen’s original vision to be a communal gathering place. What has changed, though, is the fundamental nature of retail and the future of traditional shopping malls.
RSP, Simon Properties and Life Time partnered to bring new life to a 250,000 SF corner of the mall, which was left vacant by a departing anchor tenant. Connected by an exterior plaza and glass-enclosed winter garden atrium, the new space will feature mixed-use retail and a host of other Life Time amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, a co-working space and an indoor sports complex. The goal is to create a one-stop connected experience for shopping, dining, exercising, working, living and more.
“Societal lifestyle trends are placing an emphasis on health/wellness, dining and entertainment – ultimately redefining the traditional shopping experience with placemaking and activity centers that are more relevant and connected to our communities,” said Jeff Hysjulien, AIA, RSP Senior Design Architect. “The path to a better experience starts by creating destinations where consumers feel comfortable, engaged and entertained. Creating a well-rounded experience for the whole family is key.”