ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) – New beginnings for the former American Legions post in Rochester. The site will be home to Hyatt House, a new apartment-style extended stay hotel. Rochester city leaders and community members gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate with a groundbreaking ceremony.
“To have Hyatt House come to Rochester at the gateway to the city is a major accomplishment for us,” said Ebbie Nakhjavani, CEO of EKN Development Group. “I think it offers us an opportunity as hoteliers to create a great project and a very special project so that we can actually be part of the growth of the city and Mayo Clinic.”
Rochester Mayor Kim Norton says the area surrounding the property is an “underutilized section” and that the development is a step toward “activating” the area in a new way.
American Legion Post 92 donated the final flag that flew over the former post to the Hyatt house. Developers say they will hang the framed flag inside the new hotel. Demolition of the building begins next week, and the hotel is slated to open next summer.
This project is the city’s first development part of the federal Opportunity Zone Investment program created by the December 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities, according to the IRS.