Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

First Look at New Downtown Hotels

Developer releases renderings of Holiday Inn and Hilton hotels, to be built on Michigan St.

By - Nov 6th, 2018 02:46 pm
Holiday Inn Express, Home2 by Hilton and Tru by Hilton Hotels. Rendering by Base4.

Holiday Inn Express, Home2 by Hilton and Tru by Hilton Hotels. Rendering by Base4.

Hotel developer JR Hospitality has released renderings of its planned trio of downtown hotels and begun applying for construction permits. The Minnesota-based firm intends to develop and operate Holiday Inn Express, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Tru by Hilton hotels at the southwest corner of E. Michigan St. and N. Jefferson St. Each hotel will be six-floors tall.

Under a plan released this summer, the two Hilton-brand hotels would share a 213-room building, and the third hotel, the Holiday Inn Express, would have 115 rooms.

The developer, who would build the three adjoining hotels in partnership with Iowa-based Hawkeye Hotels, is already building a Fairfield Inn & Suites and Holiday Inn Express in Brookfield and has a number of properties in the Minneapolis area.

An affiliate of the two firms, Hop City Lodging LLC, purchased the three parcels at 433 E. Michigan St., 501 N. Jefferson St. and 517 N. Jefferson St. in early August from Johnson Controls for $5.15 million. The parcels have a combined assessment of $2.9 million. The two N. Jefferson St. sites contain a 62-car surface parking lot and 10,760-square-foot building from 1970. The E. Michigan St. site contains an 80,525-square-foot office building originally from 1909 according to city records. That building, currently vacant, has been heavily modified from its original appearance and would be demolished for the project alongside the N. Jefferson St. building.

A raze permit was applied for on November 5th. A building permit, pending a submission from the developer according to city records, was applied for on October 16th. Stevens Construction is listed as the general contractor.

The new buildings are being designed by hotel architecture specialist Base4. Adjoining hotels have become increasingly popular in recent years because of their ability to share back-of-the-house functions, like laundry or waste disposal, as well as parking.

Guests at JR Hospitality’s hotels will find one unique amenity just across the street: Milwaukee Downtown and Johnson Controls unveiled a floor-to-ceiling mural last week in the pedestrian tunnel that connects East Town with the Historic Third Ward.

The hotels are also located on the lakefront extension of The Hop, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

The proposed hotels reflect a decade-long trend of new hotel development in downtown Milwaukee, with many of the new hotels opening close to Lake Michigan and the cluster of high rises along E. Wisconsin Ave. The past decade has seen the addition of Kimpton, Aloft, Marriot, Westin, SpringHill Suites, Homewood Suites, Hyatt Place and the independent Brew House Inn & Suites hotels. A number of existing downtown hotels have been refreshed or redeveloped in that time. Hotels with the Drury and Cambria flags are currently under construction.


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