Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Construction To Start on Three Downtown Hotels

Hotels are planned to open just in time for the Democratic National Convention.

By - Mar 6th, 2019 07:27 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.

Just in time for the Democratic National Convention, 328 new hotel rooms are scheduled to open downtown.

Hotel developer JR Hospitality is poised to begin construction on a trio of downtown hotels. 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.

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

The Common Council’s Public Works Work Committee approved a street occupancy permit for general contractor Stevens Construction Wednesday morning. Applications have been filed for a number of other permits including raze permits for two buildings currently on the site and new construction permits for the hotels.

The hotels are scheduled to open just next summer said JR Hospitality managing partner Roshan Bhakta, just in time for the Democratic National Convention. A decision on the site of the political convention is expected any day.

The developer, who is developing 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-stall 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.

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 fall 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.

One thought on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Construction To Start on Three Downtown Hotels”

  1. tom kahn says:

    Great news about the three new hotels coming next year, but the larger question still remains, when will funding be available for the addition of the convention center? This problem has existed for decades going back to the old MECCA convention barn in the 70’s. The new convention center in 2000 promised a phase 3 expansion on the parking lot next to the existing center, but it’s been almost two decades. There is hope with the rendering of the expansion plans to over 4000,000 sq. ft. of convention facility to be able to compete with Minneapolis and Indianapolis for business previous lost due to a lack of space.While this is hopeful news, the other main problem is a signature hotel of at least 500 rooms in close proximity.This is Milwaukee’s best chance to obtain jobs and convention business that too long have bypassed our city.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us