Despite the fact that Gov. Tim Walz’s latest restrictions did not include malls, Mall of America announced Tuesday that it will close at 5 p.m. and remain closed until at least March 31.
That comes a day after the mall announced Nickelodeon Universe would close on Wednesday.
MOA issued this statement on Tuesday:
“Our top priority at Mall of America is protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of our tenants, guests, and team members. That is why Mall of America will close temporarily on March 17 at 5 p.m. through at least March 31.
The shopping and entertainment our tenants provide is an important part of the fabric of this community. Mall of America brings people together, and it will continue to do so once we are past this current situation. But that ability to attract people is precisely why we made the decision to temporarily close our doors.
We must act responsibly and do our part to help slow the spread of this disease (COVID-19) that is impacting the world.
We respect Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’ leadership and decision to further enhance community mitigation to stop people from gathering and potentially spreading the disease. Complying with Governor Walz’ order is the right thing to do for the state, for our tenants, guests, and our team members.
These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented actions. We are confident we will get through these challenging times, and look forward to reopening our doors to the Minnesota community and the world.”
As of noon, other Twin Cities malls including Ridgedale and Rosedale centers and Galleria said they are closely monitoring the situation but remain open with limited hours.
In addition to the losses for retailers, restaurants and other mall vendors, the malls themselves—already facing challenging times—will be pressed to survive prolonged closures.
National Real Estate Investor, an industry publication, speculated that mall owners will have to renegotiate rent arrangements and seek credit relief. Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall operator, which owns Southdale Center in the Twin Cities, may be the only property owner with the resources to withstand this hit, they said.