Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, and Mortenson, a U.S. - based, privately-held construction services and development company, today announced the completion of financing for the 500-room, USD 137.5 million Radisson Blu Hotel at Mall of America®in Bloomington, Minn. Carlson and Mortenson are partners in the hotel. Mortenson is the developer and general contractor and Carlson Hotels will manage hotel operations.

Situated on the Mall's south side, the upper upscale Radisson Blu hotel is expected to open in March 2013. It will be the first hotel connected by skyway to the mall and will be situated on the south side between Macy's and Bloomingdale's department stores.  A groundbreaking event is planned on May 26.

The partners noted that the successful completion of financing during the current challenging market conditions underscores the strength of the Carlson and Mortenson team, and expected performance of the hotel.

“We are excited about this landmark Radisson Blu development, which is another key milestone of our Ambition 2015 growth plan to make Radisson a powerful, globally consistent, first-class brand,” said Thorsten Kirschke, chief operating officer, Carlson Hotels and president, Carlson Hotels, Americas. “It is our second Radisson Blu announced in the United States and is an important next step for the Phase II high-end expansion at Mall of America.”

“This is a large, complex transaction and we are very pleased to see such a positive result,” said Tom Lander, vice president, Mortenson Development.  “We are working with several great partners on this project.  We're very proud and excited to see this phase of the development completed.”

The hotel's financing comes from multiple sources, including Recovery Zone Facility (RZF) bonds, mortgage secured notes, general obligation (GO) bonds from the City of Bloomington, a Mall of America skywalk contribution and developer equity.  The RZF bonds are tax-exempt private activity bonds created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress in February 2009.  The mortgage secured notes are held by trade pension funds and community banks.

“To secure financing for a transaction of this size and complexity is very gratifying,” said Jerry Tabolich, executive vice president, Dougherty Funding. Dougherty Funding is the Master Disbursing Agent for all project funds.  Dougherty & Company, arranged and placed the mortgage-secured notes and RZF bonds for the project. “There are a lot of people and agencies behind the scenes that helped make this happen.  It's the culmination of a lot of hard work and coordination,” he said.

About Carlson
Carlson is a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson encompasses more than 1,070 hotels, including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM , Park Inn by Radisson and Park Plaza®; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday's®restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 170,000 people.

About Mortenson
Mortenson is a U. S.-based, privately-held construction services company.  As one of the nation's top builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build, and development.  Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Seattle with international operations in Canada and China.

About Mall of America®
Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. At 4.2 million square feet, MOA is home to more than 520 world-class shops; Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation's largest indoor family amusement park; SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, a 2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; Moose Mountain Adventure Golf; Theatres at Mall of America®- a 14-screen movie theater with VIP theatre and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Follow Mall of America on Facebook andTwitter or visit the MOA blog.