AmericInn, a midscale hotel chain, has a new outlet in Burnsville.
Previously a Days Inn, the hotel has undergone an extensive renovation and rebranding. It began operating under the AmericInn banner last month.
The remodeling cost about $1 million and included adding an indoor pool, fitness center and business center, according to Nasir Raja, executive vice president of franchise development and operations. The lobby, breakfast area and all 75 guest rooms also received makeovers, he said.
Raja said the hotel's owners — a local hotel investors group — approached AmericInn with the rebranding proposal not long after buying the property.
"We did an analysis and realized that although we do have properties in the south metro area, we were lacking a property in that vicinity," Raja said. The hotel is between Interstates 35W and 35E near County Road 42.
The conversion was the second in the Twin Cities market in 2013 for AmericInn. It also opened a hotel under its brand in a former Hampton Inn in Bloomington.
Lockheed plans discussed
A plan to redevelop the former Lockheed Martin corporate campus in Eagan continues to evolve, with the City Council recently holding an informal discussion with developer CSM Corp.
The Advisory Planning Commission approved CSM's plan for about 400,000 square feet of stores and restaurants and 50,000 square feet of office, with numerous conditions, including smaller parking lots, more narrow interior roads and more green space. The commission also wanted more public spaces for people to gather on the 47-acre site bounded by Central Parkway and Yankee Doodle and Pilot Knob Roads.
CSM presented two slightly altered plans at the recent council work session, both with changes to the northeast corner of the development, which calls for a cluster of restaurants with outdoor seating.
One of the plans added the possibility of some senior housing and a two-level parking deck. CSM representatives said this plan might require some public financial assistance, but no specific figures were discussed.
Lakeville couple honored
Sue and Dan Schmitt, owners of Schmitty & Sons Bus Co., recently were selected as the 2013 Lakeville Area Chamber of Commerce's Business Persons of the Year.
Dan is the son of company founder Wilfrid Schmitt, who started the business in 1969. Dan grew up with the business, helping his father. Sue joined the firm as a driver when she was 18. Both are longtime Lakeville-area residents.
The family-run business has four garages and more than 400 employees. The firm serves the Lakeville School District, the transit division of Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and Shakopee/Prior Lake Blue Xpress. In 1998 the business purchased the rights for the Minnesota Gray Line Tours franchise.