Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm
The downtown Milwaukee Howard Johnson Inn & Suites has been sold to Oxford Capital Group Inc., which is planning $5 million to $7 million in renovations to convert the 148-room hotel into a Hampton Inn & Suites.
The cost and terms of the sale for the hotel at 176 W. Wisconsin Ave. were not available. The property was sold by New Berlin-based Kaloti Enterprises, which initially helped develop the hotel in 2000.
The renovation project is expected to start at the end of the summer and be complete by April 2006.
Oxford Capital Group Inc. is a Chicago-based real estate and private equity firm. The company owns hotels in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Chicago, as well as several office and other commercial real estate properties in Chicago and the upper Midwest.
Bricton Group Inc., a Park Ridge, Ill.-based hotel management company, has been contracted to help manage the hotel, said Paul Zielinski, general manager of the downtown Milwaukee Howard Johnson Inn and Suites.
Executives with Oxford Capital Group are working with executives from Hampton Inn & Suites and its parent company, Hilton Hotels Corp. of Beverly Hills, Calif., to finalize designs, material selections and other documents, Zielinski said.
Although agreements have not been finalized, Zielinski said hotel employees have been told about the change, and plans are being made for the start of renovations, which will be done one floor at a time.
A new swimming pool will be added to the hotel’s first floor.
The hotel will keep the same number of rooms, 148, and will maintain the same general layout, Zielinski said. A third board room will be added for additional meeting space, he said, and a space for continental breakfast will be added on the hotel’s first floor.
The final result will be a striking
contrast to the current property,
"It will be just like a new hotel," he said. "It’s going to be a complete renovation."
Before the Howard Johnson hotel opened in 2000, the building was used for office space.
Hampton Inn has locations near Mitchell International Airport, on Lovers Lane Road in Milwaukee and in Brookfield. Rates on a typical summer weeknight start between $99 and $129 for the three hotels.
The downtown hotel’s renovation and franchise change will be a good thing for the neighborhood, Zielinski said. Although he’ll have some headaches to deal with, between guest relations, construction crews and other duties, Zielinski said he’s excited about the project.
"When I hear that first jackhammer, I’ll get a rush of excitement," he said.
August 5, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI