Minneapolis approves Prospect Park hotel

A Hampton Inn & Suites is set to break ground on University Ave SE in December.

Minneapolis approves Prospect Park hotel

Anne Millerbernd

The Minneapolis City Council gave the final stamp of approval for a hotel in Prospect Park on Friday.

A five-story Hampton Inn & Suites is set to break ground in December across from the Green Line light rail’s Prospect Park stop.

Developer Carl Kaeding, owner of Kaeding Management Group, hopes the 117-room project can be open within a year to serve an area which he says lacks variety and hotel options.

“There’s just not a good selection of nice hotel rooms for people [who] come to campus for anything,” Kaeding said.

Currently, there is no clear estimate for the building’s cost.

Its guests will likely include University of Minnesota professors, doctors, students and their families, but Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association board member Dick Gilyard said the hotel will also serve guests of area residents.

The hotel fits into Prospect Park’s recently initiated plan to transition the area into “new urbanism” — a term the association coined for providing residents with everyday essentials within walking distance of their home.

PPERRIA, Gilyard said, was able to review the hotels plans as they unfolded and ensure the addition agreed with the group’s vision.

“We are not in favor of just ‘willy nilly’ development,” he said. “We’re in favor of good projects working to make Prospect Park a better place to live.”

Ward 2 Councilman Cam Gordon, who oversees Prospect Park and parts of the University area, said while the hotel will meet existing needs, it will also raise property taxes. Because it’s close to residences, he said, the city will keep an eye on the community’s reaction to it.

But ultimately, he said, there is little concern from the hotel’s future neighbors.

Once it’s built, the hotel will be limited-service, meaning it will accommodate those in town for a few days — as opposed to a full-service or extended stay hotel — which is a common model for Hampton Inn & Suites hotels.

Kaeding said though design details for the hotel’s interior aren’t finalized, it will be a high-quality hotel with a different layout from the traditional Hampton.

“We have been given a little more latitude,” he said, “[and] we have explained to our design team that we’re going to use that latitude.”

Currently, the University has three standing hotels near the East Bank campus. The Hampton Inn & Suites is one of two set to open in coming years.

An unnamed hotel development on the corner of Essex Street Southeast and Huron Boulevard Southeast broke ground recently. That project aims to serve the Ambulatory Care Center, which is set to open in 2016 two blocks over on Fulton Street Southeast.

The developer for that project, Dean Dovolis, is also working on a proposal for a Dinkytown hotel.