JR Hospitality and Hawkeye Hotels have begun converting a vacant Minneapolis office tower into a dual-branded Tru by Hilton/Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel. The project marks the 11th and 12th joint ventures between the two companies in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul area and the first hotel of either brand in the city.
The $18.8 million renovation will add 41,129 square feet to the existing eight-story, 76,000-square-foot building. JR Hospitality and Hawkeye Hotels have picked Ramaker & Associates as the architecture firm for the project and Stahl as its construction manager.
The property will include 201 guestrooms, a fitness center and a business center. Home2 Suites rooms will include fully equipped kitchens. Construction is scheduled for completion by May 2020. Hawkeye Hotels estimated the hotels will have an economic impact of more than $350 million over the next 20 years.
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The original structure, previously known as the Western Union Bank Building and the William E. McGee Building, dates to 1900. It most recently served as the home of Hennepin County’s Public Defender’s Office, but has been vacant since 2012.
"To our team, it's an honor to bring both of these hotel flags to Minneapolis for the first time," Damen Trebilcock, Hawkeye Hotels’ VP of development, said in a statement. "With this unique, historic structure as the backbone of the project, we are focused on preserving its integrity at the same time that we modernize some key aspects of the building."