Hotel planned on Rawson Avenue in Franklin

Developer selected location for proximity to airport, Northwestern Mutual campus

The proposed hotel on Rawson Avenue in Franklin could be operated as a Holiday Inn, among other possibilities. (Rendering: Odyssey Hotels LLC)

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:48 pm

A rendering of a similar hotel developed by Odyssey Hotels LLC, the developer of a planned hotel on Rawson Avenue in Franklin. (Rendering: Odyssey Hotels LLC)

A four-story hotel with up to 90 rooms is being proposed in the city of Franklin.

Chicago-based Odyssey Hotels LLC this month filed conceptual plans with the city for a 67,857-square-foot hotel to be built at a roughly 2.2-acre site on the northwest corner of Rawson Avenue and Riverwood Boulevard. The hotel would be between 80 and 90 rooms, and would be operated as a Marriott, Hilton, IHG or Hyatt, according to plan documents.

The conceptual plans were scheduled to be reviewed by members of the Common Council on Tuesday, but Rachit Dhingra, CEO and managing director of Odyssey, said the item will be pushed back to March 5 due to scheduling conflicts.

Dhingra said he was interested in building a hotel at this site due to its proximity to the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s Franklin campus, which is about a mile south, and Mitchell International Airport, which is roughly 5 miles away.

“It’s kind of this middle of everything, so we think we’re going to get a pretty diversified set of business there,” he said.

City staff members noted in a report that they do not object to the proposed use of the site as a hotel, but they do have potential concerns about the proposed density. Staffers note the city has two other existing hotels that are similar to this proposed one. The hotels are a Hampton Inn & Suites, at 6901 S. 76th St., and a Staybridge Suites, at 9575 S. 27th St.

Due to density and site restraints, both hotels had to reduce the number of parking stalls and were thus required to share parking spaces with neighboring properties, according to the report. Other issues with both hotels relate to building setbacks and stormwater management features.

Odyssey owns and operates at least seven hotels in the Midwest and is an approved operator for brands such as Marriott, Carlson hotels, IHG, Hilton and Hyatt. The company focuses on smaller full-service and limited-service hotels in secondary markets.

Odyssey already operates or plans to open a number of hotels in Glendale. It operated a Radisson hotel near the northwest corner of North Port Washington Road and West Green Tree Road from 2005-2016. Dhingra has since converted that hotel to a Fairfield Inn, and has plans to reopen it under the new brand this spring.

The company also has plans to demolish the existing North Shore Event Centre, which is attached to the Fairfield Inn, and in its place construct a roughly 58,000-square-foot, 90-room Hampton Inn.

Additionally, Odyssey in 2017 opened a Residence Inn at the same site of the Fairfield Inn and planned Hampton Inn.

Get our email updates

Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.