After years of discussion, the Seven Corners Gateway site in downtown St. Paul is planned to be redeveloped into two buildings that will bring apartments, a hotel and retail space to the highly visible corner that has served as a parking lot across from the Xcel Energy Center.

The 2.4-acre lot, located at a critical intersection of downtown sandwiched between 7th Street and Smith Avenue and Kellogg Boulevard and 5th Street, was discussed Wednesday at the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) meeting. The City Council, acting as the HRA, voted to authorize a development agreement with Gateway QOZ Ventures, a limited-liability company associated with Bloomington-based Kaeding Management Group.

Kaeding Management Group plans to build 144 market-rate apartments, a 120-room hotel, which renderings show as a Courtyard by Marriott, nearly 12,500 square feet of first-floor retail space and a 137-stall underground and enclosed parking garage. Also planned is a large, outdoor plaza that would be open to the public or available to book for private events.

The housing portion of the project would be six stories; the hotel would be five stories.

“This is going to be a total game-changer for one of the major gateways to our city,” said Council Member Rebecca Noecker, during the meeting.

In 2014, a request for proposals was issued for the HRA-owned site. Mortenson Development and a team of Opus Development Co. and Greco development submitted proposals; the Opus proposal was supported by a review team for its plans to build apartments and a hotel on the site.

Opus selected Kaeding Management to be the hotel developer, and Opus later decided to turn the entire site over to Kaeding Management to develop.

Kaeding Management has agreed to purchase the property for $5 million.

The development team will be required to complete the project within a year and half of closing.

The most recent development of the nearby W. 7th Street entertainment area includes the Hampton Inn & Suites, Oxbo Apartments and Seventh Street Truck Park and New Bohemia eateries.