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For over a century, hotels in Excelsior, Minnesota were a place to go for a room with a view. 

Now, more than 60 years since the scenic lake community's last hotel closed, a longtime local landowner is hoping a new resort will both celebrate the city's past and fuel its future. 

The Excelsior Bay Hotel proposal aims to stack a boutique hotel with a rooftop bar and a "summer porch" atop 2,000-square-feet of retail space on Water Street, according to development plans set to go before the Excelsior Planning Commission on Monday, July 25. 

Excelsior Bay Hotel. Courtesy of The Kubala Washatko Architects / Excelsior Planning Commission.

Excelsior Bay Hotel. Courtesy of The Kubala Washatko Architects / Excelsior Planning Commission.

According to the development narrative, the hotel is the last aspiration of landowner and developer Charles James, who has owned 10 Water Street since 1976. 

The Excelsior Bay Hotel borrows its name from a past establishment that opened in 1926 and burned down two years later. 

The new hotel would offer 54-59 hotel rooms, a restaurant, a rooftop bar, three event spaces, and street-level retail space. 

The priorities outlined in the proposal include "respect(ing) the historic scale of the downtown area" and maximizing opportunities to view Lake Minnetonka. 

The design itself aims to hearken back to the heritage of lake country hotels with timber construction. 

"Expressive details will make it a unique part of the skyline allowing the hotel to take its place as a local landmark," the proposal reads. 

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