Size: 160 rooms, 13,000 square feet of retail, two floors of underground parking
Developer: Rodney Lindquist
Cost: $29 million
Details: In yet another rebirth of a failed condominium project, hotel executive Rodney Lindquist plans to put his GrandStay Residential Suites Hotel brand on his first urban Twin Cities property. Thanks to a very visible location at 700 Central Av. NE. and easy access to the University of Minnesota campus, the Metrodome and downtown, Lindquist said he isn't worried about the competition or about the economy.
"The Minneapolis market has been one of the most dynamic hospitality markets in the country in the last five years," he said. "I'm concerned about the economy, but by the time we are done and open, the economy will be in the spirit of good times again."
Lindquist and his partners are buying the project from developer Tony Barranco, whose Archive Lofts was still on the drawing board when the condo boom went bust. "He saw the writing on the wall early," Lindquist says.
Lindquist has a record of success to back up his enthusiasm for the $29 million project. The former president of AmericInn Motels International, he has opened nine hotels since launching his new midscale GrandStay line, starting with the flagship property in his home base of St. Cloud. His newest facility opened last fall in Apple Valley, with others in La Crosse, Wis.; Ames, Iowa, and Oxnard, Calif.
He also has four others in development or under construction. All are franchises, but Lindquist is a partner in most. He says the projects tend to draw a mix of about one-third extended-stay, one-third short-term business and one-third leisure guests.
Lindquist's Minneapolis plans call for a re-visioning of a pair of 106-year-old buildings, the former warehouse homes of Archivit Records Management System and Intown Mini-Storage, which occupy the strategic corner where westbound traffic from E. Hennepin Avenue is routed along SE. 7th Street past Central Avenue and onto 1st Avenue NE.
"It's going to be a great spot to be," he said. "We're a special product for that, rather than an also-ran in the downtown area."