Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

Downtown Building Stripped To Its Core

Adams Hotel will initially include 11 rooms in 100-year-old building.

By - Dec 11th, 2020 05:31 pm
Adams Hotel, 790 N. Jackson St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Adams Hotel, 790 N. Jackson St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A four-story, downtown building has been gutted in anticipation of redevelopment into an 11-room hotel.

Joel Lee and son Dan Lee‘s real estate firm Van Buren Management is working with architecture firm RINKA to transform a vacant building overlooking Cathedral Square Park into a boutique hotel.

City documents refer to the work going on at 790 N. Jackson St. as the Adams Hotel. Contractor ADK has gutted much of the building, to the point that you can see straight through it at various angles. New window bays are being inserted on the eastern facade.

A plan set on file with the city shows two restaurant spaces on the first floor of the building. The second floor would contain 11 guest rooms and a fitness facility. The third and fourth floors would be left largely empty according to a plan set submitted in September. A new structure would be constructed to provide rooftop access, labeled as a “future phase.”

The first floor of the four-story building was last occupied by Whiskey Bar. The large tavern closed in January 2019.

The building, pre-demolition, had 45,089 square feet of space according to city assessment records. It was originally built in 1920 to serve as a car dealership for the Wisconsin-Oakland Company (later Hokanson-Thompson), according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. It was one of at least two buildings in the neighborhood to serve that purpose, the other being what is now the Grohman Museum.

The Jackson Street building was remodeled in 1959 into a general office building and again in 1982 when a now-demolished two-story addition was added. Interior demolition, estimated to cost $508,150 according to a city permit, includes removal of elevators, walls and some floor areas. A permit to begin the demolition work was first applied for in April.

The 0.38-acre parcel is assessed for $1.27 million, almost all of which is the value of the land. The building has an assessed value of just $24,800. A new, 33-story apartment building, 7Seventy7, opened behind the building in 2019.

The new hotel comes as other nearby hotel proposals are dropped. A proposed new hotel in the Milwaukee Athletic Club redevelopment was dropped. A redevelopment of the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center is on hold and the building is for sale. A trio of attached hotels a few blocks south are virtually complete.

A block west of the Adams Hotel project, another project is underway. We Energies is replacing a utility vault, a precursor to the construction of a series of park improvements.



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