The former U.S. Post Office along the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul is getting a $7 million boost from U.S. Bank to help transform part of the building into a Hyatt Place Hotel.

The hotel is part of the second phase of the St. Paul Custom House, formerly the 80-year-old former U.S. Post Office. Floors one through five in the 17-story tower will be converted into 149 hotel rooms by Nelson Development; the project is being funded in part with nearly $7 million in historic tax credit equity. The renovation is expected to be completed next spring and will include a 10,000-square foot lobby, fitness center, pool, meeting rooms and parking.

In a press release, U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Steve Kramer, said the project will drive economic activity in Lowertown by creating new jobs and increasing the number of hotel rooms available downtown by 16 percent. "The renovation will attract visitors to Riverwalk as well as customers who will patronize nearby restaurants and other businesses,” he said.

In March, U.S. Bank subsidiary U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation invested $15.5 million in historic tax credit equity into floors six through 17 of the tower and the annex of the building. Exeter Group LLC is renovating that section of the former post office into 202 market-rate apartments, parking and 64,000-square-feet of self-storage. All renovations are expected to be complete by summer 2016.

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