A 2.5 acre site that has sat vacant for the last decade may see new life soon now that plans for a new 3 story, 98 room hotel have surfaced. The site located at 1805 Maple Grove Road in Duluth currently has only one structure on site, a vacant church, that will be demolished in order to make way for the new hotel structure. If you still can't pin point the site, it's located across the road from the former Pearle Vision and next to the former Tile Shop space (as you can tell retail has been struck hard in this area).
So who will call the site home? La Quinta Inn and Suites is a brand that was founded in 1968 and is based out of Irving, Texas and currently has over 700 locations across the country and employs over 9,000 workers. The brand was typically found most in the southern and western portions of the U.S. until recently when their expansion plans began to ramp up. Currently there are three locations within Minnesota, Duluth would be the company's fourth.
What makes Duluth's location unique is that the company is choosing to introduce a few design alterations to it's typical hotel facade. Some may argue that it's even reminiscent of the "northwoods." The traditional southwestern "tower" that is found in the design of most of the company's hotels has been significantly lowered in order to comply with the city of Duluth's ordinances, while stone facades have introduced as new elements.
We think this is great news as far as development goes! It will add some life to the Maple Grove Road retail sector that many thought may die off once the intersection with Miller Trunk Highway was cut off. The site has been vacant for many years and this seems to be the perfect project to jump start some other developments on the area. With people staying on the section of roadway, it may intern attract restaurants and possibly even an additional hotel (there is 4 acre vacant site down the roadway a bit) that could even further spur development. This also is welcome news to the area after last year plans for a new Hampton Inn and Suites hotel behind the Stone Ridge Shopping Center were scraped due to neighborhood resident concerns about the project.
If approved, construction could begin as soon as March.