Doran submits demolition requests for Dinkytown properties

The Heritage Preservation Commission will discuss the demolitions Jan. 21.

by Nicolas Hallett

Doran Companies  has submitted demolition applications for three Dinkytown properties near the University of Minnesota, with plans to build a mixed-use hotel.

The bulk of the hotel would be on two of the plots, which now house Mesa Pizza , Camdi Restaurant, Dinkytown Tattoo Shop, Publika Tea and Coffee Union  and the University LifeCare Center. The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission could block the project if it deems the buildings historical resources when it meets to hear the applications Jan. 21.

Doran Companies CEO Kelly Doran  said the HPC is a normal part of the development process and he hopes it approves the demolitions.

“I think, quite honestly, the vast majority of the business owners and the property owners in Dinkytown are in favor of this project,” he said.

A report from the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development  on the applications said none of the three properties “appear eligible” for local historical designation. The report recommended the HPC approve the applications for demolition.

“I think the staff’s recommendation is consistent with the facts,” Doran said. “I understand some people out there will be upset about this … because they have this view that nothing in Dinkytown should change. We have a different view. We think that adding a hotel in Dinkytown is a positive addition to the area.”

The Dinkytown properties could still be historic landmarks, either locally or nationally, if the HPC rules they are.

But the city report said the commission could delay a final decision up to 180  days.

The third property is a single-family home adjacent to Burrito Loco . The house, built in 1887 , would serve as a shared parking area for the hotel, Doran said.

A car-sharing service like Zipcar  and a few surface parking spots — not a large ramp structure — are possibilities for the area, Doran said.

In September , Doran  told the Minnesota Daily he had reconsidered building a six-story, 70 -unit apartment building in the heart of Dinkytown and instead wanted to erect a 125 -room hotel.

Doran said Wednesday that the plan is to open the hotel in summer 2015  if approved.

“The [city] staff is recommending the demolition of the properties because I think they came to the right conclusion, that neither one of them is historic in nature,” he said.


For more on reactions to this project and whether it receives city approval, pick up next Wednesday’s Minnesota Daily.