The Soo Line has been a multi-tenant office building since itwas built in 1914 for First National Bank, the spokeswoman Hempel bought the building from Wayzata Properties inSeptember 2007 for $23 million. The Soo Line Railway, now owned byCanadian Pacific, was an original tenant, and was able to combineits current office operations in the building into about 63,000 sfon floors 13-17. This opened up the middle floors for hotel space,the spokeswoman says. The facility also includes other officetenants on floors 11-12, as well as at the top floor.

Geoff Davis, president of HREC Investment Advisors, isrepresenting Hempel in its search for assistance. He says thebuilding is in the perfect spot for a hotel, as it's connected tothe skyway system and light rail, which provides access to all theimportant Minneapolis destinations. "Most of the hotels Downtownare full service, some of which are older and need renovations,"Davis tells "A smaller hotel, like a Hampton Inn, doesvery well in an urban setting like this, with a high RevPar index.A lot of people who travel don't need meeting space andrestaurants, and the costs associated with that, so this is a goodproposition for the traveler."

Though a Hampton Inn is being suggested for the property, theHempel spokeswoman says negotiations for the brand are notcomplete. When the company bought the property, the rumor was thata Doubletree would come in.

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