MINNEAPOLIS – This month, a major rehab process will breathe new life into one of the city's vacated historic properties, as Iowa-based Hawkeye Hotels and Minnesota-based JR Hospitality begin rehab on a dual-branded hotel in downtown Minneapolis. This is the city's first Home2 Suites by Hilton and first Tru by Hilton. These hotels are the companies' 11th and 12th joint ventures together in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul area.

"To our team, it's an honor to bring both of these hotel flags to Minneapolis for the first time," said Damen Trebilcock, Vice President of Development at Hawkeye Hotels. "With this unique, historic structure as the backbone of the project, we are focused on preserving its integrity at the same time that we modernize some key aspects of the building."

The structure, whose construction dates back to 1900, is located at 317 Second Avenue South, alongside the City of Lakes Building and Tritech Center.

“Adding onto the existing structure allowed us to develop the first dual-branded hotel in downtown Minneapolis," said Prince Bhakta, Development Manager at JR Hospitality. "This will give our guests the unique opportunity to experience both the Home2 and Tru brand within the same building."

The hotels are expected to have an economic impact of over $350 million over the next 20 years.

Previously known as the Western Union Bank Building and the William E. McGee Building, the structure served as the Public Defender’s offices for Hennepin County until 2012. Since then, the property has lain vacant.

With a total of 201 rooms, the eight-story dual-branded hotel also will include a complimentary fitness center, business center and free high-speed wireless internet. The Home2 Suites rooms will include fully equipped kitchens.

The architecture firm behind the vision for this rehab is Ramaker & Associates, Inc.

JR Hospitality is a third generation hotel company with one of the fastest growing hotel portfolios in the Midwest that specializes in acquiring, developing and operating premier hotel assets.