Fond du Lac firm to lead construction of downtown Marriott

Fond du Lac-based C.D. Smith Construction Inc. is the general contractor for the Marriott hotel project in downtown Milwaukee. C.D. Smith will receive support and assistance on the $54 million project from KBS Construction Inc., which has offices in Milwaukee and Madison.

A “wall-smashing” ceremony was held this week to celebrate the start of construction for the hotel project. Construction is expected to take 18 to 20 months and the hotel is expected to open in mid-2013. The hotel will create 175 to 200 full-time jobs when it opens.

“We’re extremely excited about this project,” said Paul Loehr, vice president of lodging development for Marriott International. “It’s going to be a fantastic location. We think it’s going to be a very successful project. We’re thrilled to be bringing it to the community.”

The 200-room hotel will be built around the Johnson Bank building, located southwest of Wisconsin Avenue and Milwaukee Street. Five buildings on the site will be demolished, except for the historic Wisconsin Avenue façade, which will be preserved and restored. The nine-story hotel will also have meeting and banquet space, a restaurant, bar and underground parking. Milwaukee jeweler Schwanke-Kasten plans to open a store in the hotel.

The developer for the hotel project is Milwaukee-based Jackson Street Management, which includes Wave Development principals Ed Carow and Mark Flaherty.

The project was financed by foreign investors through Milwaukee-based First Pathway Partners via the federal EB-5 program (under which foreign investors receive green cards for investing in projects that created jobs in the U.S.) and by $25 million in federal new market tax credits, allocated by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).

Doug Nysse of Kahler Slater is the architect for the project.

The hotel will be managed by Merrillville, Ind.-based White Lodging Services Corp.

“We plan on delivering great guest service here in Milwaukee,” said Jon Peck, chief operating officer of White Lodging Services.
White Lodging Services executives are promising to offer a level of service unique to the downtown Milwaukee hotel market.

“We’re really excited about the void that exists in this market,” said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of the company’s investments and development division.

Other members of the hotel project team include: Mallery & Zimmerman S.C., Town Bank, U.S. Bank, Waveland Ventures, Wave Renovations, Pierce Engineers and Simeone Deary Design Group.

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