Graham Kilmer
Plats and Parcels

Historic Building to Become Boutique Hotel

Plus: Soldiers Home redevelopment on pause, coworking company buys building on streetcar route

By - May 13th, 2019 07:56 am
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419 W. Vliet St. Image from Google Maps.

419 W. Vliet St. Image from Google Maps.

The 135-year-old William P. Froehlich Paper Warehouse building in the city’s Haymarket neighborhood will see new life as a hotel under a proposal unveiled last week.

Karl Rajani and Prabhu Kasthurirangaian plan to convert the three-story warehouse into a four-story hotel with 40 to 50 loft style rooms, Alex Zank reported in BizTimes. The partners own the nearby Days Inn & Suites Hotel of the Arts at 1840 N. 6th Street.

“Unlike our Days Inn & Suites just up the street, we intend to position the Lofts Hotel Downtown Milwaukee as a mid-scale property, in-between the economy and luxury categories,” Prabhu said in a statement.

The 7,500-square-foot building at 419 W. Vliet St. was constructed in 1884 according to city records. Designed in the Second Empire style, it was first used as a wood-steam laundry facility.

The developers hope to have the hotel running by the time the Democratic National Convention comes in 2020. A zoning change to enable the project is pending before the Common Council.

VA Hits Pause on Part of Soldiers Home Redevelopment

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is changing tactics in its plans to continue restoring and redeveloping portions of the Civil War-era Soldiers Home complex on Milwaukee’s west side. The department is pausing the request-for-proposals process initiated in December and will examine the financial feasibility of redeveloping Ward Memorial Hall and campus chapel.

“At this point, VA wants to see if it is financially feasible for an offerer or VA to move forward, so after this study, they’ll decide what direction to take,” said spokesperson Gary Kunich in an email to Milwaukee Business Journal reporter Sean Ryan.

The department opened a bidding process in December for the hall (1881), Governor’s Mansion (1868) and chapel (1889). It received one proposal.

The 90-acre complex, located near Miller Park at 5000 W. National Ave., has been the subject of a large-scale preservation effort spurred by the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance and National Trust for Historic Preservation and administrated by the VA. Alexander Company and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee are moving forward with the redevelopment of the campus’ central building Old Main into affordable housing for veterans.

Coworking Company Buys Building Downtown

Novel Coworking has acquired the six-story, 69,6891-square-foot office building at 782 N. Milwaukee St. with plans to convert the mostly-vacant property into a coworking space for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Membership to one of Chicago-based Novel’s 32 coworking spaces includes 24/7 building access, direct fiber internet, an espresso bar, local beer on tap and community events. Memberships range from $129 to $225 per employee per month.

Novel paid $3.2 million for the property, which is located just south of The Hop’s City Hall northbound stop. The building, known as Kennedy II, was owned by an investment group led by Joel Lee for decades.

The property, built in 1985, is assessed for $2.8 million. Its sister building, Kennedy I, sits across E. Wells St.

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