Chambers Hotel Rebrands, Independently
The Chambers Hotel at 9th and Hennepin in Minneapolis has reopened and rebranded following an ownership change in winter.
The hotel is now under its third owner, New York-based MCR, which purchased the property from Ashford Hospitality Trust earlier this year for $7.9 million. That was slightly over half of the $15 million Ashford paid in 2015 to purchase the Chambers from its developers, a consortium led by real estate mogul Ralph Burnet, who redeveloped the property in 2006.
MCR operates 110 hotels across 33 states, most of which are “flagged” with brands like Hilton and Marriott, but the buyer decided to ditch the LeMeridien branding the property had worn since 2010. (Le Meridien is a Marriott-owned brand.) At 60 rooms, the Chambers is smaller than the typical branded urban hotel and was originally built to operate as an independent with a focus on modern design and as a showcase for Burnet’s enviable modern art collection.
Still, the hotel struggled on and off due to the vicissitudes of the neighborhood around 9th/Hennepin, and was closed for most of the pandemic period. It has reopened without a restaurant, the space most recently home to chef Mike Rakun’s Mercy and previously housed D’Amico Cucina/Kitchen. Prior to that, it was home to a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant.
Minneapolis’ downtown hotel market has been one of the most depressed in the nation, generating both low occupancy and weak average daily rates, and has been weighed down by both the pandemic and civil unrest that has left downtown often empty of visible street life. Leisure travel is surging across the country, but downtown’s stock-in-trade is corporate travel and conventions, neither of which have reawakened from the pandemic-induced slumber.
In the reopening announcement, new ownership enthusiastically touted the return of pro sports and the autumn return of concerts and theater that drive downtown activity and some hotel stays. The property’s new branding even refers to the hotel as “The Chambers Hotel at Target Center,” though it is actually three blocks away.