|By Nick Ferraro, Pioneer Press, St. Paul,
Minn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 30, 2012--Rosemount is set to get its first hotel, which city officials consider long overdue and a catalyst to spark nearby development.
The City Council has approved final plans for a Country Inn and Suites at the northeast corner of County Road 42 and South Robert Trail, a busy intersection just south of the city's downtown strip. The project also includes a Super America gas station further east along the county road.
City officials have been trying to woo a developer to build a hotel for several years. An October 2010 market rate study done by the Hospitality Marketers International at the city's request concluded that a mid-priced, limited-service hotel with national and regional brand recognition would fill a niche in the market.
The city hasn't had a hotel since around the early 1900s, said Eric Zweber, senior planner.
"Our closest hotels are either over in Apple Valley, near Cedar Avenue, or up in Inver Grove Heights, near U.S. 52 and Upper 55th," Zweber said.
The 70-room, three-story Country Inn and Suites is the first piece of KJ Walk Inc.'s larger vision for additional commercial on its 26.5-acre property. The development company's largest lot on the land -- approximately 14 acres -- is being set aside as a possible spot for a big-box store, a type of business currently not found in Rosemount, Zweber said.
Despite the planning commission's recommendation for denial, council members pushed through plans for the Super America, which will be on
the east side of Business Parkway and directly south of the Rosewood Estates neighborhood.
In late October, some planning commission members and a half dozen residents voiced concern about noise and traffic, which prompted city staff to study its potential impacts associated with retail development.
Plans call for a private road west of Business Parkway leading to the hotel and a possible future public road (149th Street) east of the parkway that would separate the gas station and the neighborhood. Traffic could be diverted further east if the street is extended to Biscayne Avenue, according to a city staff memo.
The analysis concluded that even without 149th Street the current road configuration is "reasonable" and can address the traffic from the hotel and gas station, the memo said.
City officials anticipate that work on the hotel and gas station will begin in the spring.
Nick Ferraro can be reached at 651-228-2173. Follow him at twitter.com/NFerraroPiPress.
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