New face to grace Nicollet Mall

Plans for an expanded Xcel Energy Inc. headquarters campus in downtown Minneapolis may help a long-standing effort to revitalize a blighted expanse of north Nicollet Mall that stretches to the Mississippi River.

Minnetonka-based Opus Development Corp. released plans Tuesday to build a nine-story office building on the southeast corner of Nicollet Mall and 4th Street. Office space in the new building would be leased to Xcel Energy for roughly half of its 1,500 employees downtown, with the remaining workforce located in the energy company’s headquarters across the street.

Construction is slated to begin in 2014, pending needed approvals, with occupancy expected in 2016.