A highly visible site along Interstate 494 will become a Holiday Inn Express & Suites under plans recently approved by city officials.

Hawkeye Hospitality of Burlington, Iowa, and JR Hospitality of Eagan will team to raze two existing buildings along E. 78th Street, combine their lots, and erect a 171-room limited-service hotel.

Slated for demolition are the Northwood Inn & Suites, built in 1953, and a long-vacant, one-story commercial building across 13th Avenue S. that once housed Tropical Fisheries Inc. The Bloomington City Council on May 22 approved a measure to combine the two lots and vacate the portion of 13th Avenue separating them.

City requirements called for 188 parking spaces, but the developers were granted a 10 percent reduction to 171 due to the availability of nearby public transit on 12th Avenue S. and American Boulevard.

The wood-constructed building will have five stories, making it easy to spot from the freeway. As a limited-service hotel, it will not have its own restaurant or dining facilities. The first floor will feature public and back-of-house spaces, recreation areas and a wing of guest rooms. Its palate of exterior materials include manufactured stone, stucco and trim made of insulated cladding.

Address: 1225 E. 78th St., Bloomington
Type: Hotel
Rooms: 171
Developers: Hawkeye Hospitality, JR Hospitality
Architect: Cities Edge Architects