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Hempel Properties and Morrissey Hospitality Co. Keep Hotel Plans, Drop Condos, On the Makeover
 of the the Midland Bank Building in Downtown Minneapolis; The Hotel Minneapolis
 Will Carry the Doubletree Brand
By Susan Feyder, Star Tribune, MinneapolisMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Sep. 20, 2007 - The Midland Bank building in downtown Minneapolis is undergoing an ambitious makeover that will transform the building at 4th Street and 2nd Avenue S. into a 224-room hotel and restaurant.

On Wednesday, Hempel Properties and Morrissey Hospitality Co., which operates the St. Paul Hotel, announced their revised plans for the building, which last year was proposed as a hotel and condominium project.

Jon Hempel, president of the Maple Grove-based developer, said a 35-story condo tower that was to be built next to the hotel was dropped because of the downturn in the housing market.

Built in 1905, the 10-story building served as bank and office property until the developers bought it last year for about $11.2 million, according to Hennepin County property records.

The Hotel Minneapolis, scheduled to open next August, will carry the Doubletree brand, which is part of the Hilton Hotel network.

Morrissey, which has a minority stake in the development, will manage the hotel and 200-seat restaurant.

Hempel said many of the building's features make it ideal for a hotel, such as its U shape, which provides plenty of natural light for hotel rooms. The marble, ornate plaster and woodwork on the ground floor are being preserved for the hotel's lobby and restaurant, Hempel said.

Hempel said the hotel will be geared to the upper and mid-scale market, primarily business travelers. It will have a conference center on the lower level, with meeting rooms to accommodate 10 to 230 people. The hotel also will have wireless Internet access, remote printing facilities and MP3 player docking stations. Daily room rates should range from about $160 to $180, he said.

The renovation is the latest to convert a landmark Minneapolis office property to a hotel. The Foshay Tower is being renovated into a W Hotel set to open next year. Earlier this year the Westin Minneapolis opened in the former Farmers & Mechanics Bank building.

Susan Feyder --612-673-1723

Susan Feyder


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