Construction Starts on Westin Hotel
220-room hotel will be the closest hotel in the city to the lakefront.
A high-end Westin Hotel is set to open in 2017 in the heart of Downtown Milwaukee. Construction started today on the project, located at 550 N. Van Buren St. Rising nine stories, the new hotel will be the closest hotel in the city to the lakefront.
General contracting services are being provided by J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.. Arrival Partners, led by Doug Nysse, serving as project planner and development consultant, with Nysse’s former firm Kahler Slater serving as the project architect. Jackson Street Holdings is the project developer.
The new hotel will include 220 rooms and suites, many with Lake Michigan views. Amenities will include a fine dining restaurant, large lobby bar, fitness center, 9,000 square-feet of meeting facilities and a 5,000 square-foot ballroom.
Jackson Street Holdings is no stranger to Downtown. The firm has also developed the Aloft Hotel, Milwaukee Marriott Downtown and soon-to-open SpringHill Suites Marriott. The hotel marks the third partnership between the development firm and hotel operator White Lodging Services Corp. Jackson Street Holdings is led by Ed Carow, Randy Erkert and Mark Flaherty.
The site for the hotel was created from a 2010 redevelopment of the US Bank Center parking garage. That garage was pushed to the southern edge of the site, creating a courtyard space between the garage and office tower. The future hotel will be connected directly into the US Bank Center‘s skywalk system.
The hotel project was recently subject to a one-week lawsuit from Irgens Development Partners, who is developing the 833 East office tower just to the east. That suit, concerning an easement Irgens has with site owner US Bank, was filed on January 20th and dropped on January 29th. Stephen Kravit, attorney for the hotel developers, says the project was not altered in response to the lawsuit.
The new Westin Hotel is far from the only thing going on near the lakefront. Irgens Development Partners will open their new 18-story office tower, 833 East, on March 1st. Northwestern Mutual is constructing their $450 million, 33-story Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons just to the north. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is rebuilding the Lake Interchange portion of Interstate 794 to the southeast. And as part of the state’s effort, the city is redesigning a number of streets in the area, including two that run near the project, Michigan and Clybourn, and connecting the Historic Third Ward with an extension of N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
A number of projects are in various stages of planning as well. The Couture, a 44-story residential high-rise by Barrett Lo Visionary Development, is planning to break ground in the near future. The Milwaukee Streetcar is undergoing final engineering work for a lakefront spur that will take it through the planned The Couture. And last, but not least, Johnson Controls and the city are conducting a study into the viability of building a substantial office tower on the land along E. Clybourn St. that will be made available by the reconfiguration of the Lake Interchange.