Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 05:04 pm
Gorman & Company is moving forward with plans to renovate the Heritage House Inn building in downtown Kenosha into a boutique hotel and banquet hall.
The 80-room extended suite boutique hotel will feature a 400-person ballroom and 15 historic suites. Ted Matkom, Wisconsin market president at Gorman, expects construction on the $21 million project to start June 1.
Oregon, Wis.-based Gorman & Co. will manage the hotel and provide the food and beverage service.
“We’re patterning it like what we did at The Brewhouse Inn & Suites at the (former) Pabst (brewery in Milwaukee), which we converted into a 90-room extended hotel and suites,” Matkom said. “Only this will be our own operations.”
Gorman & Co., has been trying to remodel the 100-year-old 35,000-square-foot dilapidated Heritage House building at 5706 Eighth Ave., for at least three years but has been unable to secure financing for the project.
Last month, the city approved a $3 million tax increment financing district for the project. Heritage House will also be getting tax credits through the First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise, or FIRE. FIRE is a community development entity formed by the City of West Allis in 2007 to issue tax credits to help finance developments in low-income areas throughout southeastern Wisconsin.
Matkom said former Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, who is running again for mayor, is on the FIRE board, and was very supportive of the project.
“We made the case that we are a real player trying to get this project off the ground,” Matkom said. “Now we’ve lined up all of our partners and have approval for new market tax credits and a TIF, which are both pillars of the deal.”
Christopher Naumann, executive director of Downtown Kenosha Inc., said having a project of this scope and investment in downtown Kenosha will be transformative for the city.
“It’s a beautiful property that unfortunately in the last 15 to 20 years has gone into a deep state of disrepair,” Naumann said. “People have a lot of good memories there. Gorman has a very strong opportunity here.”