MINNEAPOLIS-Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has officially announced that it plans to open a W Hotel at the famous Foshay Tower. The development firm of Foshay Hotel LLC, led by Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty chairman Ralph Burnet and Ryan Cos., is reportedly spending $90 million to evict the office tenants and refurbish the tall tower into a 229-room hotel. Starwood said in a statement that W Minneapolis-The Foshay’s opening is scheduled for late 2008.

The 32-story structure was built by utility company businessman Wilbur Foshay in 1929, designed to resemble the Washington Monument, and is considered one of the tallest concrete buildings in the US. Foshay spent lavishly to open the tower, and planned to occupy two of the top floors with offices and a residence, but he lost everything months later in the stock market crash.

Starwood said in a statement that the hotel will have 229 guest rooms, including 18 suites. The hotel will also feature a restaurant, bar, lounge, fitness center and 7,000 sf of meeting space. The hotel will keep the famous observation deck, said Burnet in the statement, though it’s not clear if it will still be open to the public. “Like so many of us who grew up here, I remember visiting the Foshay as a kid and going up to the observation deck to view the city,” Burnet said in the statement. Burnet also owns the Chambers hotel here.

Starwood did not return multiple requests for comment. The company has 21 other W Hotels in major cities around the world, with 13 more planned for US cities and 15 internationally.

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