Construction starts on hotel near Saint Marys Hospital
Construction of Rochester's latest hotel began near Saint Marys Hospital last week. Crews began moving dirt on an open lot on the 1300 block of Second Street Southwest to prepare for construction of a new 108-room, six-story Homewood Suites extended...
Construction of Rochester's latest hotel began near Saint Marys Hospital last week.
Crews began moving dirt on an open lot on the 1300 block of Second Street Southwest to prepare for construction of a new 108-room, six-story Homewood Suites extended stay hotel.
If construction stays on track, it's anticipated to open in the late summer of 2014. The hotel will feature studios and one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites, all with with full kitchens. It will also have an indoor swimming pool and exercise center.
Rochester's Carpenter family and Torgerson Properties, of Willmar, are building the Homewood next door to their Courtyard by Marriott hotel. This will be their third hotel on the busy Second Street corridor by Mayo Clinic's Saint Marys Hospital. They also own SpringHill Suites.
While interest in Rochester has really heated up in recent months, this project has been in the works since last summer.
"We were on track with this well before Destination Medical Center came up," says Dennis Wallenta, vice president of hotel operations for Torgerson Properties. "We sensed a need for this."
The numbers support that idea, according to Brad Jones, president of the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"Our hotel occupancy is up, across the board. We've hit the tipping point in the extended stay category in downtown and the Saint Marys corridor," he says. "It's is a pretty safe investment. They've done their homework."
The developers did their homework with their neighbors, which pushed the original timeline.
"We worked closely with the Kutzky Park Neighborhood Association during development of the Courtyard and SpringHill Suites… and also for the Homewood Suites Rochester," said Tom Torgerson, CEO of Torgerson Properties.
Taking the time to discuss the architecture and landscaping with the Kutzky leaders ensures that the new hotel will "enhance this vibrant neighborhood," he said.
Torgerson is not the only hotel developer taking interest in Rochester.
PLC Inc., of Fargo, N.D. is building a new La Quinta Inn and Suites hotel with 83 rooms in the Shoppes on Maine area in south Rochester.
The city has 5,359 rooms now, and that with Homewood and La Quinta, that will grow to more than 5,500 by next year. That puts Rochester second in the state to only Minneapolis, which has more than 10,000 rooms. Rochester's room numbers are expected to climb even more in the next few years.
"I'm sure this is the first of many development projects we'll see in the near future," says Jones. "I think you'll see more in the Saint Marys and downtown area very soon. They both have some projects in queue."