Stadium Village hotel quietly moves forward

The five-story, 122-room hotel breezed though a city commission Monday.

by Nicolas Hallett

Doran Companies’ Dinkytown hotel proposal is still in flux, but a new Stadium Village hotel is quietly moving forward near the University of Minnesota.

The Minneapolis Planning Commission unanimously approved CPM Companies’ $13 million extended-stay hotel Monday without discussion. The five-story, 122-room hotel would primarily cater to the University of Minnesota’s incoming $160.5 million Ambulatory Care Center, set to open in 2016.

The unnamed hotel, to be located at Essex Street and Huron Boulevard Southeast, has faced little opposition to this point, a prospect unfamiliar to area developers. As of March 31, the city received no public comment on the project, the city staff report said.

CPM is no stranger to the area. With The Elysian, 700 on Washington and WaHu — the largest proposed apartment building in the University district — the developer owns thousands of beds near campus.

Still, CPM owner Daniel Oberpriller said he is relieved to see the project progress so smoothly.

“We’re looking good,” Oberpriller said. “Sometimes they work out like this — not all the time, but so far, so good.”

In contrast, the Minneapolis City Council recently voted to deny Doran’s hotel proposal until a Dinkytown historical designation study is complete.

While Doran’s hotel would demolish businesses  — including Mesa Pizza — CPM’s hotel would displace four houses that the city deemed weren’t historic resources. The land will also be rezoned — a change supported by planning documents from the neighborhood, city and University, a city report said.

The only hang-up from the city involved the entrance to the hotel’s 41-stall underground parking ramp, Oberpriller said, which has since been changed.

The city’s Zoning and Planning Committee will vote on the project May 1, and the project will go before the full City Council the next week. If approved, Oberpriller said the company plans to begin construction in July.

The Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association and University of Minnesota Physicians also fully support the project, Oberpriller said.

“Everybody likes the design and likes the use,” Oberpriller said. “It’s the right thing for the neighborhood. It’s not another student housing project. It’s providing a need for the University, [and] it’s doing all the right things.”

CPM’s hotel would be the third located within the Stadium Village business district, in addition to the Days Inn and Commons Hotel.

Commons Director of Sales and Marketing Kelly Commerford said there’s “certainly” enough demand on campus to accommodate another hotel in the East Bank marketplace.

Commerford said the Commons hotel often runs at high occupancy and sometimes sends surplus customers to hotels on the West Bank. CPM’s hotel will swipe business from hotels on the other side of the river, Commerford said, rather than the Commons or the Days Inn.

“We welcome it,” he said. “No one wants competition, really, but if it’s going to be built … there’s enough demand to absorb that on campus.”

Essex and Huron Hotel Shadow Study | Source: DJR Architecture Inc.