The group, which includes Wave Development principal Ed Carow, wants to purchase a portion of the Park East corridor block that once included the Sydney Hih complex from Milwaukee County to build a 110-room hotel, spokesman Evan Zeppos said.
The site for the proposed hotel is located along Old World Third Street just north of where Sydney Hih once stood, said Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik. The hotel would take up about one-fifth of the block, she said.
The developers would also consider buying the former Sydney Hih site from the city of Milwaukee, if city officials want to sell it, Zeppos said.
The site is just west of the Aloft hotel. The Aloft has been a tremendous success and has convinced the investors to develop another hotel across the street, Zeppos said.
“The success of the Aloft has been extremely strong,” he said. “The market has responded very well to that product. (Occupancy rates are) very high, very strong.”
The site is also just north of The Moderne, a 30-story, 203-unit residential tower that was recently completed.
“(The developers believe) a complimentary project across the street (from the Aloft) would tap into the energy that is being created there,” Zeppos said.
Aloft is a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The developers are in discussions with Starwood about possibly providing the hotel chain brand affiliation for the proposed hotel, Zeppos said.
Information submitted by the developers to Milwaukee County indicates that they want to build an extended stay hotel, Jursik said. Zeppos said the developers are looking into the possibility of building an extended stay hotel, but have not made a decision on the concept yet.
Also, financing for the project has not been assembled yet, he said.
The Marriott is one of four hotels that are under construction in the downtown area. The Loyalty Building at 611 N. Broadway is being converted into a 128-room Hilton Garden Inn, the former Pabst Brew House is being converted into a 90-room hotel and the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe is building a 382-room hotel at its casino in the Menomonee Valley, not far from downtown.
Despite the boom in downtown area hotel development, the Jackson Street investors are confident that the market can support yet another hotel, Zeppos said.
“We’ve done the analysis of the market,” he said. “The demand is still there.”
The current focus of the project is on acquiring the land from Milwaukee County, Zeppos said.
The County Board’s Economic Development Committee will review the plans Wednesday, and the full County Board will do so Thursday. Supervisors could vote to direct Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s office to begin land sale negotiations with the developers, Jursik said.
The developers have indicated that they will comply with the Park East Redevelopment Compact (PERC), which requires developers to provide some community benefits including paying union level wages to construction workers, Jursik said.