Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Committee Approves 122-Room Hotel

Woodspring Suites' extended-stay hotel planned for far northwest edge of city.

By - Mar 16th, 2021 11:25 am
WoodSpring Suites hotel. Rendering from New Era Development Group.

WoodSpring Suites hotel. Rendering from New Era Development Group.

A new extended-stay hotel planned for Milwaukee’s far northwest side was recommended for zoning approval by the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on Tuesday morning.

Kansas-based New Era Development Group plans to buy a 2.89-acre site from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and construct a four-story, 122-room WoodSpring Suites hotel on the site.

“We are really pleased to present this building as the first WoodSpring in the state of Wisconsin,” said the group’s attorney, Brian Randall of Davis & Kuelthau.

But it’s not the first time one has been proposed.

A different developer spent almost three years trying to open a WoodSpring hotel near Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. The Common Council ultimately rejected an operating license for the hotel because of neighborhood objections and concerns that it would not be staffed at all times.

The new proposal is finding no public opposition.

The northwest side proposal is backed by area Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd and neighboring representative, Ald. Chantia Lewis. Unlike the prior proposal, it would be staffed around the clock according to a project representative.

“Folks are actually like waiting for this,” said Lewis on Tuesday. “I am excited about this project.” She praised the development team for addressing concerns and alerting residents with a mailer.

The nearest Milwaukee resident lives a half-mile from the site according to Randall. The site borders the Village of Menomonee Falls in Waukesha County. The hotel would be built on land left over from a reconfiguration of an Interstate 41 interchange.

The WoodSpring brand is positioned as an economy extended-stay offering. Each of the more than 260 hotels across the country is owned and operated as a franchise.

The Milwaukee hotel would have 130 surface parking stalls, a lobby, guest laundry facility and on-site fitness center. A small refrigerator and kitchen area would be located in each room, designed to support the extended stay guests. Rooms are rented by the day or the week.

“We cater to various mixes of clients,” said New Era president Christopher Stevens. During a December interview, he ticked off a list that included people on remote work assignments or trainings, construction workers, those displaced from fire-damaged homes and others that need a short-term residence while selling their home. “We fit that void very well.”

Choice Hotels acquired the WoodSpring Suites chain, formerly known as Value Place, after the airport dispute began. Choice, through franchisees, has a number of other hotels in Milwaukee, including a newly-constructed Cambria Hotel in Downtown.

The WoodSpring site is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of W. Bradley Rd. and N. 124th St. A Sam’s Club warehouse club store opened at the intersection’s northeast corner, 8010-8100 N. 124th St., in 2016. The northwest corner, located in suburban Menomonee Falls, is home to an Aldi’s grocery store that opened in 2019 and behind it is a Woodman’s grocery store.

The Park Place business park is located southeast of the site. Hotel guests would access the hotel from W. Park Pl. along the property’s eastern frontage.

In September we first reported that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation had a pending sale for the surplus property, most recently listed for $399,900.

A zoning change is necessary for the site because highway land defaults to a single-family home zoning designation when removed from the public right-of-way.

The full Common Council will vote on the zoning change next week.



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