New daycare center, hotels planned for Minneapolis

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Dec. 29--Plymouth-based New Horizon Academy has leased 10,000 square feet in the Laurel Village complex in Minneapolis' Loring Park for a day-care center scheduled to open in March.

The building at 1310 Hennepin Av. formerly housed the Laurel Village management offices and at one time also was home to the Dish restaurant and its predecessor, Table of Contents.

New Horizon operates at 58 locations, mostly in Minnesota. It has a downtown site at 111 Marquette Av. that it said has been so successful it decided to open another downtown center. The new site will have about 35 employees for up to 145 children.

The Twin Cities office of CB Richard Ellis represented New Horizon in the lease negotiations; Equity Transwestern represented Laurel Village.

Hotel financing

The burst in hotel construction has sputtered out amidst the credit crunch and economic slowdown, but a limited number of projects have found some financing.

One of the latest is a 124-room Homewood Suites planned for New Brighton near the intersection of Interstates 35W and 694. NorthMarq Capital Inc. recently arranged $11.65 million in financing for a $16.6 million hotel being built by Willmar-based Torgerson Properties Inc. Homewood is an upscale, extended-stay Hilton hotel brand.

The transaction was a joint effort by NorthMarqÄ…s regional offices in Bloomington and New Jersey.

According to Jim Hoopes, a NorthMarq vice president in Bloomington, the 70 percent loan-to-cost financing was arranged at highly favorable terms, despite the difficult lending environment.

Hoopes said Torgerson's extensive experience as a hotel developer helped to secure the financing. The company has built numerous hotels around Minnesota, including a 115-room Courtyard by Marriott that opened this year in Maple Grove's Arbor Lakes retail and entertainment area. Besides the New Brighton hotel, Torgerson is scheduled to begin construction early next year on a Homewood Suites as part of Duke Realty Corp.'s West End mixed-use project in St. Louis Park.

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