Developer buys Scottish Rite Masonic Center for hotel development

Construction of 220-room hotel expected to begin in summer 2018

The Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center building in downtown Milwaukee has been sold to the developer that plans to turn the historic building into a 220-room hotel.

Rendering of the hotel at the Masonic Center.

AH Masonic LLC purchased the 128-year-old building located at 790 N. Van Buren St., from the Trustees of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Milwaukee for $3.5 million, according to state records.

Ascendant Holdings, LLC, which has offices in Milwaukee and Madison, is planning to begin construction in summer 2018 on the $60 million project, which includes renovating the 80,000-square-foot building and adding a 14-story tower above the existing building.

Ascendant Holdings was granted a certificate of appropriateness for the project from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission earlier this year.

“A lot of architectural and design work needs to be done now and we are expecting to complete that within about six months,” said Eric Nordeen, principal of Ascendant Holdings.

Construction will take about 18 months. Nordeen is hoping to open the hotel by the end of 2019.

Provenance Hotels in Portland will run the hotel. The company has done similar projects, including transforming a former Elk’s Lodge into a luxury hotel called Sentinel.

The Scottish Rite Masons bought the building in 1912 to house the Scottish Rite Valley of Milwaukee, according to Historic Milwaukee Inc.

The building was remodeled in 1994, which allowed the Masons to begin opening it to the public for weddings, fundraisers and theatrical performances. The facility includes a two-story theater, classrooms, mahogany dining room and one of the largest private art collections in Wisconsin.

The Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center building in downtown Milwaukee has been sold to the developer that plans to turn the historic building into a 220-room hotel.

Rendering of the hotel at the Masonic Center.

AH Masonic LLC purchased the 128-year-old building located at 790 N. Van Buren St., from the Trustees of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Milwaukee for $3.5 million, according to state records.

Ascendant Holdings, LLC, which has offices in Milwaukee and Madison, is planning to begin construction in summer 2018 on the $60 million project, which includes renovating the 80,000-square-foot building and adding a 14-story tower above the existing building.

Ascendant Holdings was granted a certificate of appropriateness for the project from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission earlier this year.

“A lot of architectural and design work needs to be done now and we are expecting to complete that within about six months,” said Eric Nordeen, principal of Ascendant Holdings.

Construction will take about 18 months. Nordeen is hoping to open the hotel by the end of 2019.

Provenance Hotels in Portland will run the hotel. The company has done similar projects, including transforming a former Elk’s Lodge into a luxury hotel called Sentinel.

The Scottish Rite Masons bought the building in 1912 to house the Scottish Rite Valley of Milwaukee, according to Historic Milwaukee Inc.

The building was remodeled in 1994, which allowed the Masons to begin opening it to the public for weddings, fundraisers and theatrical performances. The facility includes a two-story theater, classrooms, mahogany dining room and one of the largest private art collections in Wisconsin.

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