The money needed to turn the historic Jackson Building in downtown Minneapolis into a boutique hotel is now in the bank — and from the bank.
Developers of the Hewing Hotel have secured $31 million in construction and bridge loans from U.S. Bank while U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp., a division of U.S. Bank, is investing $6.3 million in federal historic tax credits.
The renovation project is expected to open by the end of 2016 and will cost $38.4 million.
Once complete, the 125-room hotel promises to offer an unusual lodging option in a bustling area of downtown. The 93,000-square-foot Jackson Building, at the corner of Washington and 3rd avenues N., was built in 1897. At one time, the building served as a farm implement showroom and warehouse. In recent years, it has been vacant except for a music school on the first floor.
“This project represents a lot of what we like to see in historic rehabs,” said Alex Silversmith, the project manager from U.S. Bank. “It’s a strong development team, it’s in the North Loop, which continues to grow, and the former Jackson Building is one of the last remaining vacant warehouses. A group that’s done this well before, I think, will bring it to its highest and best use.”
Co-owner Aparium Hotel Group of Chicago specializes in developing small-scale hotels that reflect the local flavor. The Hewing name is a reference to an old logging process, paying homage to the industry’s history in Minnesota.
“It will have a progressive, Nordic feel,” said Mario Tricoci, chief executive of Aparium. “It will be elegant and edgy, always comfortable and approachable, high design for sure.”
This will be the first boutique hotel in the state for hotel operator Aparium. The group runs the acclaimed Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee and, on Sept. 15, opened its second boutique experience in Wisconsin: the Charmant Hotel, on the Mississippi River in La Crosse.
“If the North Loop hotel is anything like their Milwaukee property, it will be an amazing addition,” said David Frank, president of the North Loop Neighborhood Assocation.
Hewing’s other owner, Fe Equus Development of Milwaukee, was the developer on the Iron Horse. The new Minneapolis project will include a one-of-a-kind restaurant and bar, led by Chicago chef Suzy Crofton, and a rooftop social area that will serve hotel guests and the public.
There is no on-site parking, so the ownership group is working to build relationships with parking operators. Nearly the entire first floor will be dedicated to food and beverage, which Tricoci said “will be fantastic with lots of energy around the kitchen.”
Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767