The Developing Story: Minneapolis

Located on the west-most edge of the Rust Belt, Minneapolis, Minn., is in the midst of an economic and population boom. In the last year, the city’s population grew by 1 percent, adding 33,000 people to the community, according to Chicago magazine. To support this population, the city offers a diverse—and very healthy—economic environment.

With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, Minneapolis is home to six Fortune 500 companies. Some of the city’s top employers include Target and the University of Minnesota, and the largest privately owned company in the United States, agricultural-giant Cargill, is located just beyond the Minneapolis city limits.

The economic diversity has been a boon for the city as a whole. Mark Eble, managing director and Midwest practice leader at CBRE Hotels, PKF Consulting USA, says the way the economy is attracting people to the city, especially millennials and baby boomers, is refining Minneapolis’s culture and making it a big draw for travelers. “In terms of the vibrancy of the downtown, having young people and empty-nesters move into the area is elevating the quality of the restaurants, retail, attractions, and businesses. These improvements are all great for lodging developers,” he explains.

And lodging developers have taken notice of the opportunities. The downtown Minneapolis area has attracted a wide range of new hotel projects, including a 135-room Holiday Inn Express planned by TPI Hospitality, a 290-room Embassy Suites planned by HRI Properties, and a 244-room AC Hotel from Mortenson Development. All three of the aforementioned properties are due to open before the end of next year, and they are just a small piece of the bigger picture. Nate Gundrum, Mortenson development executive, says their upcoming AC Hotel will attract travelers drawn to Minneapolis’s developing cultural identity. “[Our property] will resonate with travelers looking to experience the city.”


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HRI Lodging, a hotel management and development company based in New Orleans, has done about $1 billion worth of work on adaptive reuse properties in urban core markets. Chief Investment Officer Michael Coolidge explains why HRI’s endeavor to turn Minneapolis’s historic Plymouth Building into a 290-room Embassy Suites is a perfect fit for the city’s market.

» “The Plymouth Building is very iconic. There aren’t a lot of historic buildings in Minneapolis that haven’t been converted or reused, so it’s a high-profile property that we’re going to be able to breathe new life into. To find a building as unique, well-built, and high quality as the Plymouth Building is rare.”

» “Minneapolis’s three major sports stadiums—the new Metrodome, which will open in 2017, Target Field, and the Target Center—are all within a six-block radius from our location. It’s a very strong place to set up shop.”

» “The building is also a block away from Nicollet Mall, the pedestrian and retail center of the city. The Mall has a really dynamic F&B presence that is only growing, which we are sure our future guests will enjoy.”

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Kate Hughes, Editor, LODGING Magazine


  1. Your story is quoted as saying, ” …Minneapolis’s three major sports stadiums—the new Metrodome, which will open in 2017,” — this is incorrect. the new stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Minnesota Vikings will play and the 2018 Super Bowl will be held, is opening in July 2016 and it is not “a new Metrodome” – it’s a fully enclosed building with an ECFE roof, not a dome at all. Thanks!

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