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Boutique hotel and condos proposed for south Minneapolis

Renderings courtesy Elevage Development Group (via city documents)

A new 8-story boutique hotel and condo complex has been proposed to be built on the northwest side of Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) in south Minneapolis.

The West Lake Street Hotel and Condos would take the place of the existing BP gas station on a triangular-shaped parcel at the intersection of West Lake Street and Excelsior Boulevard.

The complex would have 100 hotel rooms, 20 condos and a restaurant.

Blaine-based Elevage Development Group is scheduled to discuss its plans Thursday at the city planning commission’s committee of the whole meeting.

The West Lake Street Hotel would also have parking for 107 vehicles with one level of underground parking and another of aboveground space.

The building, which was designed by ESG Architects, would also feature a rooftop deck with a pool to serve both hotel guests and residents.

“Adding hotel and residential uses at this location naturally creates a more inviting streetscape, as more people will be walking and biking to and from the site which creates an energetic, safe and people-friendly hub, improving the site’s existing condition,” the development team said, in a report submitted to the city.

Jon Hempel, founder of Hempel Cos. real estate firm, dies



Jon Hempel, founder of Minneapolis development company Hempel Cos., has died.

Hempel, 47, passed away Thursday, after a three-year battle with brain cancer.

In 2001, Hempel started the real estate company, which has grown to acquire and develop more than $750 million worth of office, retail, hotel and residential properties including the former Macy’s in downtown St. Paul that reopened earlier this year as the Treasure Island Center.

In 2013, Hempel stepped down from operation of Hempel Cos., and his business partner Josh Krsnak took operational control and later acquired the company.

“Jon accomplished an incredible amount in his short 47 years,” Krsnak, Hempel Cos.’ chief executive, said in a statement Monday. “He started five companies and acquired, developed, or redeveloped over 80 properties. He left his mark wherever he went. Jon defined optimism and was the most courageous person I knew. To honor Jon’s wishes and to commemorate his vision and tenacity that made Hempel Companies what it is today, we will continue to proudly operate as Hempel Companies and develop meaningful projects throughout the communities that we touch.”

Hempel is survived by his wife Heidi, sons Jack and Eli, and daughter Della. Services will be held at 1 pm on April 18 at Mount Olivet Church in Minneapolis.