Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Downtown Hotel Will Be “Dubbel Dutch”

Boutique hotel in historic 1898 mansion on Marshall St. will open in time for DNC.

By - Jan 21st, 2020 04:59 pm
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Charles A. Koeffler, Jr. House, 817-819 N. Marshall St. Photo by Dave Reid.

Charles A. Koeffler, Jr. House, 817-819 N. Marshall St. Photo by Dave Reid.

The partners behind the conversion of the historic Charles A. Koeffler, Jr. House into a 17-room boutique hotel announced Tuesday that the property will be known as “Dubbel Dutch” when it opens in May.

“The name is a play on the original architecture of the historic side-by-side or double house, designed by Milwaukee’s famed Ferry & Clas in 1898. Dubbel Dutch draws its inspiration from the unique Flemish-style shaped gables crowned with finials and the Flemish-Dutch spelling for ‘double,'” said the partners in announcing the name.

Marshall Street LLC, which includes developer Juli Kaufmann, general contractor Andy Braatz and architect Patrick Jones, purchased the building at 817-819 N. Marshall St. for $600,000 in September from real estate investment firm CJ Taxman Interests according to state records. The property is assessed for $719,900. The project has an estimated budget of $2 million.

The partners are seeking a tenant to buy out the entire space during the July 2020 Democratic National Convention. But to make that happen it will also need what is is dubbing a “house manager” to oversee operations. Interested parties for leasing or employment are encouraged to email info@thedubbeldutch.com.

The partners announced Tuesday that the interior design of the space is being led by Sharon Celek Kevil of Forti. Brigette Breitenbach of B&Co. is leading the hotel’s branding and marketing. Both are Milwaukee-based firms led by female entrepreneurs.

Forti will build custom, modern furnishings for the hotel intended to accent the historic character.

“We’ve gathered an outstanding team of individuals to transform this property into an incredibly special property, answering a need for hotel rooms in Milwaukee’s downtown neighborhood,” said Kaufmann.

An on-site restaurant and full bar are planned. “The food & beverage concept is forthcoming, and the operator will be announced later this winter,” said the partners in a statement. A press release promises that the restaurant will be a draw for guests and locals with communal spaces to encourage socializing.

The development partners, through their firms Fix DevelopmentRamsey Jones Architects and Braatz Building, are frequent collaborators. They recently completed the redevelopment of the building that houses Cream City Hostel.

Financing for the project includes a $950,000 private bank loan, a $750,000 loan from the city-affiliated Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation and $300,000 in owner equity. Kaufmann said the tax credits would be sold and used to increase the owner’s equity in the deal.

First proposed in late 2017Dale Stenbroten and his wife Katy Rowe had planned to convert the house, long used as an office building, into an 18-room hotel. Kaufmann and her partners, who were originally contracted by the couple on the deal, revived the proposal after financing fell through. Kaufmann called it an “incredibly challenging deal to get done.”

For the full history on the house, see my colleague Michael Horne’s article “Koeffler House A ‘Grand Old East Side Home’.”

And we must sadly note that information on the availability of jump ropes at the hotel was not available by the time of publication.

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