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BLOOMINGTON, MN-Developer Jeffrey Wirth, who developed and owns Grand Hotel in Minneapolis, said he wants to build an $80 million hotel-water park complex near the Mall of America.

The project would include a hotel, convention center and water park, according to a report in the Tuesday edition of the Star Tribune newspaper of Minneapolis. The Water Park of America would be built on the site of the Decathlon Club at Cedar Avenue and Interstate Hwy. 494 in Bloomington.

Wirth has a purchase agreement for the nine-acre site and has had preliminary discussions with city officials. He told the Star Tribune the project would include a 450- to 750-room hotel, convention center and a 90,000-sf water park.

But Wirth says he needs help from the city of Bloomington to build the park, and Bloomington officials aren’t so sure they want to provide it.

“We would like to see the site developed and it’s certainly a very suitable project, and it would be very attractive to have a water park,” Bloomington Community Development Director Larry Lee told the Star Tribune. “But our general opinion is that sites along 494 are of such a value that they don’t need assistance to be developed.”

Wirth has a similar but smaller project under way in Brooklyn Park.

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