Boutique hotel proposed for Broadway building downtown

$14.8 million project would add five floors to existing four-story structure

Rendering of the proposed hotel at 600 N. Broadway. (Rendering: Vetter Architects)

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:47 pm

Plans are in the works to convert the building at 600 N. Broadway in downtown Milwaukee into a 62-room boutique hotel, complete with a street-level restaurant and rooftop bar and lounge, according to development plans recently filed with the city.

Charles Bailey, the owner of the eight-room Kinn Guesthouse on South Kinnickinnic Avenue, has applied for a certificate of appropriateness application to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission for the project.

Bailey’s plans for the building involves building five stories on top of the existing four-story, 151-year-old building. The new addition would include four floors of hotel rooms and the rooftop lounge and outdoor deck. The second through fourth floors of the existing building will also be converted into hotel rooms.

Meanwhile, the first-floor restaurant portion of the building will be nearly 3,900 square feet, according to the development plans. Bailey noted he is seeking out a local restaurant group to fill that space.

“We think the Milwaukee culinary scene has just exploded recently and there are some great options out there to explore,” he said.

The $14.8 million project is designed by Vetter Architects, and Catalyst Construction would serve as general contractor. Bailey said the new hotel will carry the same Kinn brand as his hotel in the Bay View neighborhood.

According to the application, the hotel development “aims to be the catalyst that will breathe new life into the existing block,” which it says consists mostly of “tired and underutilized buildings.” This particular property was chosen in part due to its proximity to area businesses and entertainment offerings, as well as for its easy access to The Hop, the city’s new downtown streetcar.

“We see this as an opportunity to revitalize that section of the city,” Bailey said of the building’s location. “We’ve seen a lot of development happen around Fiserv (Forum) and the Third Ward, but we think of this as a sort-of forgotten section of the city.”

The building is currently owned by Milwaukee developer Josh Jeffers, president of J. Jeffers & Co. Bailey said he has a contract to purchase the property, assuming all goes well in the way of city approvals.

“As soon as the city gives us their blessing, we’re going to be off and running,” he said.

About a block south of the proposed hotel, Jeffers is also developing a new 11-story building at 511 N. Broadway. The new mixed-use building will be called The Huron Building, Jeffers announced today. Jeffers plans to break ground on The Huron Building project this April, with construction slated to finish the second half of 2020. The building’s anchor tenant will be law firm Husch Blackwell, which had previously agreed to occupy 71,000 square feet on three floors of the new development.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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