Mall of America gets luxury hotel on the Fed’s dime

Good news for mall junkies: Bloomington, Minnesota’s vaunted Mall of America will get a luxury hotel in the near future — thanks in part to federal stimulus funds.

Plans for the hotel have been in the works for several years, but had to be quashed two years ago due to lack of funding, says USA Today.

Now, Hennepin County officials have granted the Bloomington Port Authority the ability to issue $40.3 million in tax-free bonds to help fund the $130 million venture. The hotel is set to be 12 stories, and connected to the MOA via a skyway. And though it’s not yet clear who will manage the property, Starwood, Radisson and Marriott are all up for the gig.

The federal stimulus funds were made available to projects that were “significant and shovel ready” and located in economically depressed areas. Proponents of the hotel say it will bring much-needed jobs to the area, and will pay for itself in revenue. But critics argue that building a luxury property probably isn’t the best use of federal funds. What do you think, Gadling readers?

[photo by Flickr user cliff1066]