Windom motel expansion approved

Aqua City Motel
Minneapolis-based North Bay Companies plans on renovating and expanding the Aqua City Motel, located on the 5700 block of Lyndale Avenue, to include 52 rooms. Images courtesy of DJR Architecture

The Planning Commission has approved a plan to renovate and expand a 36-room Windom motel.

North Bay Companies intends to restore the Aqua City Motel, located at 5719 Lyndale Ave., to its original mid-1960s style and construct a second story atop the one-story portion of the building. The Minneapolis-based company also plans to restore the motel’s outdoor pool, refurbish the street sign, eliminate a curb cut and add a small coffee and ice cream shop and an outdoor seating area.

The revamped motel will have 52 rooms. It will also have 31 parking spots and four bike-parking spaces, according to a city report.

DJR, an architecture firm working with North Bay on the project, has written that the goal is to provide a lodging option for “all types” of budget-conscious travelers but especially families.

Aqua City Motel

On Aug. 5, the Planning Commission approved three applications for the project, in addition to North Bay’s plans for the site. They included two setbacks and another variance to allow the expansion of a “nonconforming use,” since the city zoning code has not permitted motels since 1999.

Mian Hospitality Group currently owns the site, according to city property records. The city assessor’s office valued the .7-acre property at nearly $1.1 million earlier this year.

The Windom Community Council and representatives of people who live near the site offered their support for the project in an Aug. 5 letter to Ward 11 City Council Member Jeremy Schroeder. It was contingent on North Bay meeting four conditions, including a requirement for 24-hour on-site management. Windom residents, especially those who live near the motel, have insisted that the project should prioritize their safety.

The Aqua City Motel is one of two motels in the immediate vicinity of 57th & Lyndale. The Metro Inn Motel is a block north at 5637 Lyndale Ave.