A new boutique hotel is in the works for the North Loop neighborhood.
Located at 117 1st Street N, the hotel would be located within a mixed-use project that has been planned for a number of years.
The Commutator Foundry Development would include the demolition of two non-contributing buildings, the renovation/restoration of two additional buildings and the construction of a new building. The two buildings that would be rehabilitated include the historic Commutator Hotel and Foundry Buildings, both of which were built in the 1900’s and most recently were home to office space and retail space.
Now, you might remember that there were plans for this site already that were proposed a few years back. Those plans included pretty much the same amount of ground floor retail space but also included office space on all of the upper levels.
Since those original plans were proposed the developers were approached by an independent boutique hotel that was interested in the project. Luckily the developers were at the point of planning where they could make the switch from office space to hotel space.
In total, the entire project would be home to around 130 hotel rooms, 22,000 square feet of ground floor retail, restaurant and lobby space and a rooftop bar and restaurant with views of the Downtown skyline. Two levels of underground parking with 50 stalls will be also be constructed within the new building.
Snow Kreilich Architects is responsible for the design of the project which needed to pay close attention to the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District Design Guidelines. With that being said they ensured the design of the new building included a defined base, middle, and top and that it was constructed as close to the street as possible in order to maintain the historic street wall.
The height of the new building will be six stories which is taller than both of the existing historic buildings. However, the new building has been designed in a way that the floorplates on the lower levels will match the height of the floorplates within the existing buildings allowing for seamless levels throughout all structures. The new building will be clad in a cast stone custom unit masonry along with an insulated clear glazing.
Want to know an interesting construction tidbit? When construction is underway, 121 N 1st Street will actually be stabilized, and the structure moved off site temporarily while the underground parking is constructed. Once that is complete the building will be moved back to its original location. Crazy huh?
At the moment it is unknown as to who the independent hotel is that is planning to open within the Commutator Foundry Development.
Many rumors are swirling around that it could be a West Elm Hotel, especially since it was just announced that their retail store will be opening in a new development directly behind the Commutator Foundry project (you can read about that here).
However, we don’t think it is a West Elm Hotel at the moment and here’s why.
It’s been a few years since West Elm announced they there were not only planning hotels across the country but that they were also planning one in the North Loop neighborhood. Things were going well for a while and planning was underway and at one point we even saw plans for their hotel to be constructed on the site of what is now an under construction mixed-use project across the street called “The Archive.” But then things got rough for the West Elm Hotels concept.
First, they were sued by the hotel management company that they were working on the projects with. The management company eventually walked away from the concept altogether which left West Elm without a hotel operator.
It seemed like a new hotel management company could be secured but then another shocking announcement came last month when West Elm Hotels cancelled their Indianapolis hotel that was already under construction. And just this last week it was announced that the West Elm Hotel planned for Detroit was also put on “hold” with the future of the other planned hotels being in limbo.
Now, don’t let us kill all your hope for an ultra-trendy first of its kind hotel setting up shop in the North Loop. Maybe we will magically see the stars align and we’ll be the first place to become home to a West Elm Hotel… and maybe they won’t.
Plans for 117 1st Street North will go before the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission for review at 4:30pm later today. Construction on the project is anticipated to begin in early 2020 and take 12 months to complete.