MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 40,000 square foot store has a new home in downtown Minneapolis.

Nordstrom Rack opened on Thursday. And that’s only the beginning of the new shopping and dining opportunities on Nicollet Mall.

Years of construction are set to wrap up in November. The mall will be a main-vein for Super Bowl activities and displays in February. And after a mass exodus of stores like Macy’s and Sport’s Authority, new business is coming.

We’ve got a breakdown.

Nordstrom Rack was bustling on its first day of business. Shirly Gatson loaded her cart up with jeans and shoes.

“I’m glad it’s down here so I don’t have to go to Maple Grove now, I can come down here,” Gatson said.

She’s one of many who wanted to check out the new Nordstrom Rack on opening day. Elle Leddy also loaded up.

“I’m stingy so I wanted to get here and get all of the deals and see what they have before it was picked over,” Leddy said.

Some shoppers are excited about the Nordstrom Rack, but not completely satisfied with the shopping landscape.

“We do need more shopping downtown,” Leddy said.

The downtown council agrees. President of the Downtown Council, Steve Cramer, says big spaces like the old Sports Authority are hard to fill. But they’ve got some solid leads.

The old Dayton’s will soon be small shops at street level, office space on top. The new YMCA will be on 6th Street. Hopcat, a large restaurant, opened on 5th.

And Haskell’s will open their first wine and snack bar in October on Nicollet and 9th.

Ted Farrell of Haskell’s says, “We love Nicollet Mall, we love what it represents, we just want to be a part of it once – literally – the dust settles.”

Cramer insists that soon it will.

“The message is, Nicollet Mall is almost done and we’re open for business,” Cramer said.

Steve Cramer says for the Super Bowl, all of the storefronts will turn into pop up businesses, event spaces or they’ll be covered with large signs.

The Downtown Council says these are notable retail changes:

– Hop Cat Opening
– Nordstrom Rack opening
– $10 million Target remodel
– Haskell’s to open a wine bar
– Remodel of RSM Plaza
– Investment in former Dayton’s building with a retail focus on lower two floors
– YMCA move and enhanced facility
– YWCA remodel
– Westminister project
– MNSBHC Volunteer Headquarters at Nicollet & 7th for Crew52

Sources tell the Downtown council a new restaurant may be coming to Masa’s old space. Another one may fill the old Barnes & Noble.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield