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Wabasha takes first step toward new hotel

WABASHA — A development group called Grand Eagles Hospitality took the first step Thursday to developing a hotel along the Mississippi River just upriver of the National Eagle Center in Wabasha.

The group, headed by Wabasha developer Blaine Marcou, won the approval of the Wabasha City Council to begin planning for the hotel, said City Administrator Chad Springer. The city's letter of understanding gives the group exclusive rights to the 0.84 acres for six months.

The land is one of the few pieces of undeveloped land along the river in Wabasha and is now used for public recreation. The eagle center, which is expanding, last year asked the council for 0.18 acres of the land. But the council denied that, fearing that dividing the land might jeopardize chances for a hotel or other business there. Some council members said they hope the developer will work with the center to accommodate some of its needs.

Even if the property is sold, the city would still retain land along the river for the bike trail and green space.

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