A new $60 million boutique hotel is planned to open in Lowertown in downtown St. Paul.

Building owner Jim Crockarell said Tuesday he wants to convert empty office space into a 127-room Marriott Tribute hotel in the Park Square Court building on the corner of Sibley and 6th streets near Mears Park. The hotel will be called Hotel Mears.

"There's a significant need for another hotel in the Lowertown area," Crockarell said.

The location and the brick-and-timber features make the building ideal for a hotel, he said.

Construction is expected to start in June with completion slated for December 2019.

Marriott describes its Tribute portfolio as "a family of independent boutique hotels."

Park Square is part of a lively segment of Lowertown with several restaurants, including the Handsome Hog and Public Kitchen and Bar, as well as the Lowertown Event Center. Lowertown has experienced a surge in new restaurant openings, new apartment construction and the addition of CHS Field.

The hotel will be housed from the second to the fifth floor of Park Square and take up former space of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, which moved into the newly renovated Treasure Island Center. There will still be some remaining office lofts in the building.

Madison Equities, the private real estate company that Crockarell heads, will continue to own the building and the hotel. Aimbridge Hospitality is anticipated to manage the hotel. The hotel is being designed by Tushie Montgomery Architects.

The building is already zoned to allow for a hotel, Crockarell said. He plans to present the project at a Capitol River Council district meeting next month and then to the city's planning commission.

A key hotel industry measure called revenue per available room is expected to grow 1.6 percent in the Twin Cities this year, reversing a decline in 2017, according to a recent study by CBRE Hotels.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495 Twitter: @nicolenorfleet