Aug. 29–Only the finishing touches are left to be completed at the Elliot Park Hotel, the last part of Kraus-Anderson's massive block of redevelopment in downtown Minneapolis.
The 168-unit luxury hotel located at 5th Avenue at 9th Street will open next month on the same block as developer Kraus-Anderson's new headquarters, HQ apartments and Finnegans microbrewery.
While the new 115,000-square-foot hotel is built to provide guests with modern comforts, hotel management said the main focus of the space is to provide a certain kind of coziness and welcoming atmosphere as part of a Danish concept referred to as "hygge" (pronounced HUE-gah).
"It's all about the warmth as you visit our hotel," said Dana Orlando, the hotel's general manager.
As Orlando gave a tour of the eight-story hotel Tuesday, she pointed out how everything from the lobby's heated floor and wall of candles to the copper embellishments and the textures of pillow, wall and floor were chosen to invoke a sense of homeyness.
Another important aspect to the Elliot Park Hotel is that like many hospitality offerings that have opened recently in the Twin Cities, there is an effort to feature local products.
In the retail store on the main level, local art as well as candles made in Eden Prairie and clear purses that would be allowed inside U.S. Bank Stadium are just a few of the items for sale. When guests arrive at the hotel, they will also be directed to enjoy "the brew and the bite," a small taste of food from the hotel restaurant paired with a sampling of Finnegans' beer from the nearby brewery.
The full-service, luxury hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection of boutique hotels.
In addition to its guest rooms, the hotel includes 13 suites and a penthouse, meeting spaces (the largest of which could fit 125 people for a banquet-style event), and a fitness center. There is also a separate kitchen to provide food as needed for special events at Finnegans.
Perhaps one of the most eagerly awaited features of the hotel is Tavola, a 120-seat Italian restaurant complete with an open oven for pizzas and breads.
"The restaurant is the heartbeat of this hotel. … It's a place for the locals to commune. It will be a place for hotel guests to go, obviously, but it is for the community," Orlando said.
Tavola's menu will also include pastas, steaks and an affordable selection of wine, all of which would be available to guests via room service, said Taryne Dixon, director of food and beverage for Elliot Park Hotel.
"We want to make this restaurant approachable and accessible," Dixon said.
Nearby residents can enjoy a 10 percent discount at the restaurant, Dixon said.
"Folks are excited about another food opportunity. … We don't have a lot," said Vanessa Haught, executive director of Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc.
The hotel was built by Kraus-Anderson, designed by ESG Architects and developed by Wilkinson Corp. Coury Hospitality will operate the hotel.
"It's been extraordinarily rewarding to see the vision of our hotel and the entire KA Block become reality," said Mike Harral, vice president of development for Wilkinson, in a statement.
The Elliot Park Hotel is one of several hotels that have opened in downtown Minneapolis in the last two years. The Ironclad, which will feature a 153-room hotel, and the 183-room Thresher Square hotel are currently under development closer to Washington Avenue.
But even as hotels continue to be built, there are signs that the local hotel boom may be slowing. Revenue per available room, a key indicator of the health of the hospitality market, dropped in 2017 compared to the year before by about 3.6 percent in the Twin Cities, according to hotel data firm STR. As of July, revenue per room was up nearly 11 percent compared to the same time last year, to $84.52, a period that included a large bump from the Super Bowl.
United Properties, which planned to include a high-end hotel in its Gateway project, has said it was proceeding with the entitlement process for an all-office plan due in part to lagging room rates in the Twin Cities.