by Aaron Brom
APG of East Central Minnesota
It’s been four years since a huge entertainment, water park, hotel and convention center was announced as being proposed near the Albertville Premium Outlets. The news garnered state, even national attention for this one-of-a-kind Mall of Entertainment proposal.
Now the city of Albertville is saying there’s been no planning whatsoever for the once-heralded project.
“The city has not seen anything from the development group regarding the Mall of Entertainment since they completed the (environmental review) several years ago.,” Albertville City Administrator Adam Nafstad said. “To the best of my knowledge, the developer is not actively pursuing the project.”
The site is located at the northwest corner of the outlet mall.
According to the developer, Black Forest LLC (moemn.com), the Mall of Entertainment was to include “a world-class entertainment venue in Albertville that will feature an interactive indoor waterpark, an exploration-based out of home adventure, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Back-Lot edutainment experience and a 275 room Marriot Hotel and convention center.”
Black Forest said the project was to be “a special place where parents and children go to spend time together while they play, jump, climb, explore, and learn about our world through the incredible and often breathtaking experiences.”
Reports at that time were for plans to break ground in summer 2016, with an opening in 2017.
Now four years later, the city of Albertville has not received a formal application for the project. Otsego-based Darkenwald Corp. was the development team lead.
Nafstad said it’s his impression that the Outlets owner, Simon Premium Outlets, is exploring its options. “Which likely include selling the east half or repurposing it,” he said.