La Quinta Inn planned for Duluth mall areaPlans were revealed Tuesday for another hotel in Duluth’s Miller Hill Mall area while plans progressed for two Kwik Trip stores in western Duluth.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
Plans were revealed Tuesday for another hotel in Duluth’s Miller Hill Mall area while plans progressed for two Kwik Trip stores in western Duluth.
Dell Inc. of Fargo, N.D., plans to build a three-story, 96-room La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel at 1805 Maple Grove Road, just north of Miller Trunk Highway next to the Floor to Ceiling store and across from the Vein Clinic. Dell Inc. also owns La Quinta Inns in Fargo and Bismarck, N.D.
A plan review for the hotel — required because of the scope of the project — went before the Duluth Planning Commission on Tuesday. Commissioners tabled the matter for one week to learn more about the developer’s plan to deal with the site’s elevation changes.
The 49,500-square-foot hotel will sit on 2.15 acres. The hotel, long and rectangular in shape, will face Maple Grove Road with 108 parking spaces around it, according to the city staff reports.
Inside, it will have a lobby with a small seating area, an indoor pool, exercise room and an eating area that will seat 36 people.
The property was sold for $600,000 to the Fargo group that is developing the site, according to Sandy Hoff of F.I. Salter Co. which handled the sale. The small church currently on the property will be demolished.
Duluth Realtor Ken Truscott, who owns the old Schneiderman’s furniture store building across the street at 1820 Maple Grove Road, is supportive.
“I have no problem with it,” he said of the project. “It enhances our building.”
His building houses Prudential Truscott Realtors, but it’s for sale and facing forfeiture because of back property taxes owed. With a hotel across the street, it will make the 11,000-square-foot building, and the site itself, more attractive to buyers, he said.
Based in Dallas, La Quinta Inns & Suites has more than 800 hotels in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In Minnesota, the hospitality chain has hotels in the Twin Cities, but the Duluth hotel will be its first in the Northland.
Project architect Will Rogers, of Associated Architects in Denver, said owners hope to break ground in the spring, with construction taking 10 to 12 months.
The hotel will join the three other hotels in the Miller Hill area: Days Inn, Fairfield Inn and the Residence Inn by Marriott.
A previous plan for a fourth hotel in the Miller Hill area was scuttled by Duluth-based ZMC Hotels in June after a needed zoning change — from single-family R-1 residential to mixed-use neighborhood — was opposed by area residents. The site proposed for that hotel also was on Maple Grove Road, but farther east, near Joshua Avenue.
Kwik Trip Duluth sites
With plans underway to open three Kwik Trip convenience stores in Superior, the La Crosse, Wis.-based company is now looking to expand to Duluth.
The company wants to build two stores in the city’s western neighborhoods — one on the 4200 block of West Grand Avenue in West Duluth, the other at West Superior Street and 27th Avenue West in Lincoln Park. Their targeted openings are next fall.
Kwik Trip Inc. plans to demolish the vacant church building and gas station, currently on the Grand Avenue site, before building a new filling station, a 3,900-square-foot store and a 40-by-70-foot fueling canopy. The larger Lincoln Park store would face West Michigan Street and have more gas canopies.
Both will sit on 1.25-acre sites and have brick facades.
The company’s request for a special use permit to operate a filling station at the Grand Avenue site, which is zoned mixed use-neighborhood, was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission on Tuesday.
But, its request for a parking variance to allow for more than half of the off-street parking at the Lincoln Park store to be in the front was denied by the commission as city staff had recommended.
Kwik Trip is changing the design to make such a variance unnecessary.