Mar 22, 2021 - News
Bloomington's Crowne Plaza Aire hotel to convert rooms into tiny apartments
This rendering shows what a Crowne Plaza hotel room would look like as an apartment. Image: Ron Clark Construction

One of the Twin Cities' largest hotels will covert most of its 430 rooms into apartments.

Why it matters: Crowne Plaza Aire owner Kaeding Development Group has decided not to wait around for people to come back to its Bloomington hotel.

  • Hotel occupancy in the Twin Cities fell to 33% last year, and one forecast says it won't rebound to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

If approved by Bloomington City Council, the project would be the first hotel-to-apartment conversion in recent local history.

  • Kaeding would keep and renovate 135 of the hotel rooms.
  • The other 295 would be converted into 229 apartments, 46 of which will be income-restricted.

What to expect: 64 of the new apartments will be 350 square feet, which would be among the smallest you'll find in the metro. City code sets a minimum of 360 square feet, so the layouts will need approval.

  • Kitchenettes would be added on the wall between the bed and the bathroom of studio units.
  • Other units will be as large as 1,200 square feet, combining hotel rooms.
  • Construction would start in May and wrap up in December.

The bottom line: The pandemic has caused a rethinking of how we use built space.

  • But one thing is clear: While demand for hotel, retail and office space has declined, need for housing is still high.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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