Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Fiserv Forum Hotel Would Rise Nine Stories, Have Two Restaurants

Rooftop bar, floor targeted at NBA teams and a two-story presidential suite are planned.

By - Mar 18th, 2021 12:38 pm
Marriott Autograph Collection hotel proposed for 420 W. Juneau Ave. Rendering by GBA.

Marriott Autograph Collection hotel proposed for 420 W. Juneau Ave. Rendering by GBA.

A firm selected by the Milwaukee Bucks is advancing plans to build a new Marriott Autograph Collection hotel across from Fiserv Forum.

North Central Group (NCG) is proposing to build a nine-story, 205-room hotel at 420 W. Juneau Ave. The hotel would include restaurants on the first and ninth floors as well as first-floor commercial space and an 8,700-square-foot event and meeting space on the second floor with outdoor terrace. Select guest rooms would have balconies.

The proposal will undergo its first review before the City Plan Commission on March 29th. The team first announced NCG as the winner of a competitive bidding process in September. An affiliate of the Bucks acquired the multi-parcel Park East corridor for $1 as part of the stadium financing deal.

Gary Brink & Associates is designing the hotel for NCG. The team and North Central previously said they hope to open the hotel in 2023.

The hotel would run the full length of the block along W. Juneau Ave. between N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. and N. 5th St. The retail space would be located in the southwest corner of the building and the restaurant, with a facade open to N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. as weather permits, in the southeast corner. The restaurant would also include a mezzanine level. A porte cochere would be in the middle of the first floor, with a lobby set back from the street.

The second-story meeting and event space would fill the entire floor, with a deck overlooking N. Vel R. Phillips Ave. and a cutout in the floor overlooking the restaurant.

Guest rooms would run from the third through the eighth floor, with a fitness center on the third floor.

The fourth floor appears targeted at landing the business of the visiting basketball teams. Unlike the other guest floors, each room is labeled with “NBA” in the room name. It also includes a meeting room. Teams primarily stay at the Pfister Hotel or Kimpton Journeyman Hotel today. The league’s collective bargaining agreement requires teams to find “first-class hotels” for their players with extra-long beds and porters to carry baggage.

Each guest floor includes suites, with the eighth floor containing a presidential suite that extends to the ninth floor and has its own deck.

The ninth-floor restaurant and bar would cover the eastern half of the floor, with an outdoor deck overlooking the arena to the south and the skyline to the east. A meeting room with private patio is included on the western half.

The Autograph Collection brand, which includes approximately 200 hotels, uses a slogan of “hotels like nothing else” and pitches individuality in its marketing.

“We look forward to making this hotel uniquely Milwaukee,” said NCG president Jeff Lenz at the September press conference announcing the deal. The building plans submitted to the city show a hotel unique among others in the city, but not distinctly of the city. Lenz and Bucks president Peter Feigin, while declining to get into specifics, said the Milwaukee-centric features would come from the restaurants and artwork in the hotel. A final hotel name is also not included in the planning documents.

Parking for the hotel would be accommodated through the adjacent 5th Street Parking Garage jointly built by the city and team.

Property tax revenue from the hotel will go to pay back tax incremental financing debt associated with the stadium project, including debt associated with the parking garage and plaza.

As part of the consideration for selling the land for $1, North Central and the Bucks will have to pay for the costs to remove the concrete piers buried just below the surface that once supported an elevated freeway that crossed the site. A site plan identifies 12 piers within the footprint of the building that need to be removed.

NCG operates approximately 25 hospitality properties, including the Hilton Garden Inn in Brookfield and the Brookfield Conference Center. It operates three hotels adjacent to a stadium complex in suburban Phoenix.

The team previously selected Royal Capital Group to develop Five Fifty Ultra Lofts on the west side of the arena parking garage. That building opened in 2020. Through its real estate affiliate, the team also developed three entertainment-centric buildings on the east side of Fiserv Forum and attracted a number of tenants.

A Hyatt Place extended-stay hotel, not owned by the Bucks, opened in 2018 at 800 W. Juneau Ave. The hotel is located just west of the team’s training facility property. Since the team announced the NCG deal, a proposed Tempo by Hilton hotel became public, targeted for a site a few blocks south of Fiserv Forum. The city has experienced a wave of new hotel development in the past decade as developers sought to introduce new brands to the market, replace aging hotels and better serve the business-generating office building cluster near the east end of E. Wisconsin Ave.

After going before the City Plan Commission, the zoning change necessary for the NCG hotel will go before the Common Council.

Hotel Renderings

Site Photos and Press Conference

Deer District Master Plan Renderings

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