Nathan Hall has a prediction: The new Radisson Blu hotel in downtown Minneapolis will set off a chain reaction that will bring a series of new luxury lodging choices to the city’s center.
Hall, senior project director with the John Hardy Group and the project manager for the new Blu location, says that the high-end property might also cause other local hoteliers to offer more frills at their own locations.
“I think this hotel will have a huge impact,” Hall said. “I think neighboring hotels will have to step up their game now. We’ve really brought a freshness to the market. We’ve raised the bar in terms of not just the design but the accommodations.”
On July 7, the former Radisson Plaza Hotel at 35 S. Seventh St. in downtown Minneapolis reopened as the Radisson Blu Minneapolis following a $30 million renovation. The renovation updated the more than 360 rooms in the hotel and added 29,000 square feet of new meeting and event space. The hotel features a new 24-hour business center and a business lounge. The property’s FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar also received its own update.
The Blu’s arrival in downtown Minneapolis is a significant win for the city. This is only the fourth Blu location for Radisson in the entire United States. The Minneapolis area now has the distinction of boasting two of these four locations. In 2013, the high-end Radisson Blu Mall of America opened in Bloomington near that suburb’s Mall of America.
A busy market
The Radisson Blu makeover is the latest sign of the continuing, and growing, strength of downtown Minneapolis’ commercial real estate market, with the city’s center attracting a stream of new retail and multi-family development. The Radisson Blu will provide an additional boost to the downtown market, bringing a luxury lodging presence that the downtown area has long lacked, said Barry Nidiffer, executive vice president of development management with Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, owner of the new Radisson Blu.
“There is not a lot of luxury lodging product here,” Nidiffer said. “There is not a Four Seasons in downtown Minneapolis. There is a movement to support the addition of new luxury hotel properties in the area. With the amount of Fortune 500 companies here, with the commerce that is happening on an international level in downtown Minneapolis, we can see the hotel market in the city elevating. We can see a day when there are more luxury hotel offerings for people staying in downtown Minneapolis.”
And the downtown market should only grow stronger. Ryan Companies US and Wells Fargo in late spring broke ground on the massive Downtown East mixed-use development here. Construction is now underway on a new stadium for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. Minneapolis will even be hosting the Super Bowl in 2018 in this new downtown stadium.
The Radisson Blu fits neatly into this bustling center of commerce, Nidiffer said.
“Minneapolis, St. Paul and the entire downtown area are invigorating places to be as far as business and commerce go,” Nidiffer said. “And people love to live here, too. Minneapolis is a great city. We believe that the Blu is a great fit for this area. We think it brings a nice style and a new offering to Minneapolis.”
Stonehill & Taylor Architects acted as the architect and co-designer of the hotel, collaborating with Graven Images, an interior-design studio based in Glasgow, Scotland. The hotel’s guest rooms and suites feature a Scandinavian influence, which fits in well in Minneapolis.
The hotel’s most awe-inspiring feature, though, might be its revamped lobby, which features a soaring 18-story atrium.