Hotel prospects show promise

Early information about a new hotel project in Dinkytown sounds good.

Doran Companies put forth a bid earlier this year to demolish a few buildings in order to construct a hotel in Dinkytown. Though it failed, another developer, DJR Architecture, has plans for a promising hotel in the same block in place of surface parking lots.

DJR’s owner, Dean Dovolis, told the Minnesota Daily last week that the company has entered purchase agreements with Dinkytown business owners for the hotel, which would be on the 1300 block of Fourth Street Southeast.

The Minnesota Daily editorial board was skeptical of the proposed Doran hotel because it didn’t appear to be in the community’s best interest. The project would have involved demolishing buildings in the neighborhood’s business sector, and the Dinkytown Business Association helped block it by requesting a historic designation study for the district.

However, DJR’s project shows some promise. It would likely replace some of the last remaining surface parking lots in the area while leaving alone buildings that hold current businesses. While the Daily could not verify estimates of the project’s size, Hung Russell, chair of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association’s Land Use Committee, told the Daily the project would also be dense in scale. Finally, the DJR hotel is likely to include retail space, much like Dinktyown’s newest large developments around the business sector.

A Dinkytown hotel would increase foot traffic in the area, a plus for businesses. With the Green Line coming through campus, we can also expect more travelers and academics staying in the area. As students continue to rent out the area, visitors should also have space near the University of Minnesota.

There is still little information about DJR’s hotel project, but what we do know shows promise. Let’s hope this project comes to fruition, and without the controversy associated with so many Dinkytown developments.