Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

City’s First Hostel Opens June 23rd

Cream City Hostel in Riverwest will open its doors to community before guests arrive.

By - Jun 13th, 2019 01:23 pm
Future home of Cream City Hostel. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Cream City Hostel building in February 2018. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee’s first hostel will open its doors on Sunday, June 23rd.

Partners Carolyn Weber and Wendy Mesich are putting the finishing touches on Cream City Hostel at 500 E. Center St.

The 7,980-square-foot building was redeveloped by a 60-member investment group led by Juli Kaufmann. Vacant since 2005, it was most recently home to a Head Start location for Milwaukee Public Schools. Kaufmann’s group purchased the building from the city for $150,000.

The hotel, designed to support cost-concious, social travelers, offers private rooms as well as four, six, eight and 12-bed rooms. An eight-bed, female-only room is also available. Rooms include bunk beds and lockers.

The two 12-bed rooms are known as The Harambee and The Riverwest, recognizing the two neighborhoods the development straddles along N. Holton St. Weber told a city committee that her goal is to “show people real Milwaukee instead of downtown Milwaukee.”

The hostel has been a long time coming for Kaufmann and Weber. Seven years ago Weber began the process of attempting to open a hostel. She sought to lease Kaufmann’s house in Walker’s Point and operate it as a bike shop and hostel, but ran into neighborhood resistance. Since then Weber opened a bicycle shop, Coast In Bikes, and Kaufmann has relocated to Riverwest.

Weber, too, is a Riverwest resident and sees a hostel as a welcome amenity for the city. She told a city committee in February 2018 that travelers are able to stay in hostels in Madison and Chicago, but don’t have an affordable option in Milwaukee.

Look for a full preview of the hostel in an Urban Milwaukee story next week.

Disclosure: Jeramey Jannene has invested $1,000 in the property since first reporting on the project.

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