By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After years of construction headaches, Nicollet Mall is finally ready to officially re-open.

On Thursday, Mayor Betsey Hodges, City Council members and Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, will celebrate the completion of the project.

In the three years since construction started, some called the project a construction and a PR nightmare for the city.

Several businesses and restaurants have closed along the mall since it began, including Masa, Barnes and Noble and Macy’s.

Still, the city maintains the project is on time and on budget.

For their part, major redevelopment projects, like the Dayton’s Project and the RSM Plaza renovation, are helping fill spaces along the mall, and there have been some additions, like Nordstrom’s Rack and Haskell’s Wine Bar.

The project isn’t “completely complete,” however.

Bus shelters are being installed, and a few more art installations will take place in the spring.

Nicollet Mall will also be a hub of activity during Super Bowl festivities next year, as it will be the headquarters of Super Bowl Live.

That’s a 10-day festival featuring food, fun, entertainment and ice sculptures all along the mall.

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