of Conversion of Landmark F&M Bank Building in 2007
NORWALK, Conn., January 24, 2006— HEI Hospitality, a rapidly growing hospitality investment and operating company, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire in Spring 2007 the under-development Westin Minneapolis, from Ryan Companies US, Inc., developer of the project. The hotel is being created through the conversion of the historic, former F&M Bank building into a 214-room Westin hotel. Merritt Hospitality, a wholly owned HEI subsidiary, will operate the hotel.
Located at the corner of 6th Street and Marquette Ave. in the center of downtown, the building is a part of Minneapolis’ innovative skyway system, which connects more than 50 downtown blocks with more than five miles of glass-enclosed bridges. Conversion of the 11-story, 150,000 square-foot building is expected to begin next month. It will be the city’s first Westin hotel.
The focal point of the hotel will be the 7,200-square-foot lobby with 35-foot-high clear span ceilings, which will incorporate the former bank’s classic Art Deco architecture, including a three-story grand marble staircase, chandeliers, wood paneling and brass and nickel-plated vault doors. The lobby will feature a 100-seat upscale restaurant, including a display kitchen. Six private dinning rooms will be created from existing bankers’ offices. The high-energy lounge also will be situated in the former bank lobby. Both outlets are expected to be major social gathering places for people visiting the city, as well as a magnet for local residents who seek a fine dining experience in a highly charged environment. In addition, the building will have approximately 8,000 square feet of meeting space and 7,000 square feet of retail space on the Skyway level.
“Take-out, or turn-key, acquisitions like the Minneapolis Westin, where
we purchase the hotel upon completion from a quality developer like Ryan
Companies, is another attractive growth vehicle for HEI,” said Steve Mendell,
HEI’s executive vice president—acquisitions and development. “We
continue to aggressively seek other full-service, 200- to 500-room hotels
in the top 50 MSAs and are rapidly ramping up our development activities
for both full-service and premium-branded select-service brands.”
HEI Hospitality, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is an ownership/investment firm that owns and/or operates 26 first-class and full-service hotels throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Hilton. Merritt Hospitality is an independent hotel management company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEI Hospitality.
Gary Mendell, HEI Hospitality
|Also See:||HEI Hospitality Wraps Up $1.5 Billion, Three-Year Hotel Acquisition Program; Adds Four Senior Execs to Support Acquisition and Development Activity / January 2006|
|Roger Clark Named Senior Vice President, Acquisitions, HEI Hospitality / November 2003|