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Milwaukee near west side hotel proposal, office project site win additional city approvals

Wednesday, March 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Journal Sentinel

Tom Daykin

 

 

The conversion of a near west side school into a hotel, and a potential office development site at that same intersection, both received additional city approvals Tuesday.

The Ambassador Suites extended stay hotel is being created at the former Wisconsin Avenue School, 2708 W. Wisconsin Ave., which developer Rick Wiegand bought last year from the city for $100,000.

Wiegand wants to begin the $15 million project "as soon as possible," he told members of the Common Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, which recommended approval.

The 23 high-end suites will each be  about 1,000 square feet, with full kitchens. The suites will be roughly triple the size of rooms at Wiegand's Ambassador Hotel, 2308 W. Wisconsin Ave.

The Ambassador Suites will be just south of City Campus, three buildings that Wiegand plans to redevelop south of W. Wells St. between N. 27th and N. 28th streets.

Food and Beverage (FaB) Wisconsin, a food and beverage industry networking group, hopes to create a center of excellence with offices, a shared lab and a rooftop farm in the largest of those buildings.

The hotel will be just north of a potential office development, south of W. Wisconsin Ave. and west of N. 27th St.

Near West Side Partners Inc., a nonprofit neighborhood development group, is seeking two high-profile prospects for the site: a $65 million, 163,400-square-foot state office building and a Medical College of Wisconsin office building with up to 150,000 square feet and an undisclosed cost.

The group in February agreed to pay $40,001 for two city-owned properties: an empty lot and a vacant former billiards hall. Those parcels are part of the larger development site.

The committee on Tuesday approved an amendment to the sale agreement. It includes a condition of providing design plans for the site to the Department of City Development and Common Council.


Senior housing planned for N. Cass St.

In other action, the committee approved plans to replace an east side church with a new development that provides senior housing, as well as worship space.

St. Rita Catholic Church, 1601 N. Cass St., is being sold to a group led by developer James Tarantino.

Tarantino plans to develop the apartments and church on a 1.1-acre site north of E. Pleasant St., between N. Cass and N. Van Buren streets. The church and its former school, along with two houses, will be demolished. 

The apartments, known as St. Rita's Square, will feature two six-story buildings with 118 apartments.


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