JR Hospitality has unveiled plans to build two hotels in one building near Target Center and the Hennepin Avenue theater district.
The Eagan-based development firm wants to construct a 115-room Cambria Hotel and 100-room Fairfield Inn & Suites side by side but with different entrances on Hawthorne Avenue between 10th and 11th streets.
The site, which is also across from the Hawthorne Transportation Center bus terminal, is currently a 1-acre dirt lot.
The six-story hotels would have separate lobbies and front desks. There would be a restaurant and bar on the ground floor of the Cambria Hotel.
JR Hospitality managing partner Jay Bhakta said his company chose the site because it was within walking distance of several entertainment destinations and restaurants including the Orpheum Theatre, First Avenue and Target Center.
"I think it's an established market, but that particular block isn't developed. … We hope that our project will help spur development," Bhakta said in an interview Friday.
JR Hospitality plans to present the project next week at a meeting of the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association. If the project wins city approval, Bhakta wants to start construction later this year and finish by fall 2019.
JR Hospitality is partnering with Iowa-based hospitality company Hawkeye Hotels on the project.
JR has a purchase agreement with Las Vegas-based MVP REIT to buy the lot, which is part of a larger parcel mostly used for parking. The property was the former site of a Ramada hotel.
A rush of new hotel openings in downtown Minneapolis has temporarily flooded the market with supply and made revenue dip. Bhakta said he believes demand will continue to grow and prove the hotels to be a worthy long-term investment.
JR Hospitality has quickly become one of the most active hotel developers in the Twin Cities. It is working on another downtown hotel project, a 203-room, dual-branded Hilton Tru and Home2 Suites hotel that is expected to begin construction this spring.