A Hennepin County plan to purchase a Bloomington hotel and convert it to a homeless shelter has been abandoned, the county announced last week.

Instead, the county will focus on other priorities for its federal CARES Act funding. In abandoning the purchase. the county’s announcement cited the time constraints associated with the federal coronavirus pandemic funding and the complexity of the deal.

The county intended to purchase the 104-room Extended Stay America hotel at the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and American Boulevard. The $13 million deal would provide shelter for homeless county residents. According to a Hennepin County Board report, the hotel would have housed people with an elevated COVID-19 health risk, primarily the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

Since March, the county has been leasing hotel rooms in several cities, including Bloomington, to shelter homeless individuals. The hotel rooms, including two Bloomington Holiday Inns, are being used to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks among the homeless population. The Extended Stay America was intended to replace the leased Holiday Inn rooms by June 2021.

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