Demolition work begins for downtown Marriott

Major demolition work began Tuesday for the $54 million downtown Milwaukee Marriott hotel project. A crew with Elgin, Ill.-based American Demolition Corp. is doing the demolition work.

The 200-room, nine-story hotel will be built around the Johnson Bank building, located southwest of Wisconsin Avenue and Milwaukee Street.

Five buildings that are more than 100 years old on the site will be demolished, except for the historic Wisconsin Avenue façade and an 80-foot deep section of the buildings behind that façade, which will be preserved and restored.

The project was opposed by some historic preservationists who said the old buildings should have been preserved and that a new hotel building would be out of place on the historic block. However Jackson Street Management, the developer for the project, said the buildings had been altered over the years and lacked historic and architectural significance. The developer also argued that restoring the buildings to build the hotel was not feasible.

Fond du Lac-based C.D. Smith Construction Inc. is the general contractor for the project, with support and assistance from KBS Construction Inc.

The hotel is expected to open in mid-2013.

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