Development will feature fewer condos
Uptown will have a 138-room, seven-story luxury hotel by the spring of 2009.
Graves Hotels Resorts has partnered with The Ackerberg Group and CAG Development to turn the eastern half of Mozaic, a large, modern, mixed-use development planned for the Lagoon Theater site along Lagoon and Fremont Avenues, into what could be the area’s first hotel. Work on the $150 million project is scheduled to begin around February of this year and wrap up by the spring of 2009.
Mozaic was originally planned to feature 135 condominiums. The hotel introduction reduced that number to 68. Square footage of the entire project has been reduced about 40,000 square feet, but the building footprint will be the same.
CAG Development and The Ackerberg Group were looking at constructing a hotel at 1320 W. Lake St., the current site of Campiello but started getting calls from hotel companies who wanted to get into Mozaic.
“If there was ever going to be a hotel in Uptown, Mozaic was the place to have it,” said CAG Development President Clark Gassen.
A slowing condo market was not a reason for the hotel, Gassen said. Mozaic condos have sold well when compared to other developments, he said. As of mid October, 29 of the project’s units were sold and eight were reserved.
Gassen, along with The Ackerberg Group President Stu Ackerberg and Graves Hotels Resorts President Ben Graves, presented plans for the hotel at a recent Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association (LHENA) Zoning and Planning Committee meeting. Residents were all smiles as Graves enthusiastically described planned hotel amenities such as a ballroom, restaurant, spa, terrace and possibly a pool. Mozaic condo dwellers will have access to hotel services, including room service, he said.
“I think it’s a shot in the arm,” said LHENA Zoning and Planning Committee member Leslie Foreman after the presentation. “Hopefully it will provide some energy for new, eclectic developments in the area.”
The Minneapolis Planning Commission must approve Mozaic’s changes, said City Councilmember Ralph Remington (10th Ward), but he didn’t expect any holdups. Remington said his moratorium, enacted this fall to slow development in Uptown, would not affect the new plans because the hotel does not add any height to the project.
Like CAG Development and the Ackerberg Group, Graves Hotels Resorts is based in Minneapolis. The company owns Graves 601, a 255-room luxury hotel Downtown.
Both Ben Graves and his father, James Graves, CEO of Graves Hotels Resorts, live near Uptown. Ben Graves said the hotel would be pedestrian friendly and offer bikes and rollerblades for rent.
An 830-car parking ramp is part of the plan for Mozaic. Ben Graves said he expects the majority of hotel guests to be without cars, as they are at the Downtown location. The Uptown hotel might offer electric cars for rent, he said.
The Graves hotel is one of three proposed in Uptown. Investor Curt Gunsbury has been developing plans for a boutique hotel to be built on Holmes Avenue. He would like to begin construction of his hotel in April of 2007 and complete it within a year, but it still needs to go through the city’s approval process.
Greco Real Estate Development proposed building a hotel as part of its 3.6-acre mixed-use Lyn-Lake project. That proposal also has yet to be approved.
For more information on the Mozaic development, go to www.uptownmozaic.com.
Jake Weyer can be reached at 436-4367 and [email protected].