Minneapolis officials have given approval for developers to convert an existing office building in the downtown core into a 203-room, dual-branded Hilton Tru and Home2 Suites hotel.

The plan is to construct an eight-story, 41,300-square-foot addition on a parking lot behind an already existing eight-story building on 2nd Avenue S. between 3rd and 4th streets. The Minneapolis Planning Commission approved the site plan last week.

The existing office building had been occupied by Hennepin County staff before it vacated in 2012. In 2015, the city approved a site plan for a similar eight-story addition to the building for a Holiday Inn Express, but it was never completed.

Eagan-based JR Hospitality and Iowa-based Hawkeye Hotels are working on the project along with several others across the metro. “When we are looking at downtown five to 10 years down the line, we think that things will continue to stabilize and rise,” said Jay Bhakta, managing partner of JR Hospitality.

The group plan to close on the purchase of the property later this month. Construction is scheduled to begin next spring and finish in 2019.

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