Marcus Hotels & Resorts submits proposal for 4th and Wisconsin site

City will review two proposals in coming weeks

401 W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Marcus Hotels & Resorts has submitted a proposal to the City of Milwaukee for a development at the corner of 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, adjacent to the Milwaukee Hilton City Center.

The 2-acre parcel at Fourth Street and Wisconsin Avenue have two proposals to redevelop it.
The 2-acre parcel at Fourth Street and Wisconsin Avenue have two proposals to redevelop it.

The Milwaukee-based corporation is the second company to reveal it has major plans for the under-utilized corner in downtown Milwaukee, although Marcus Corp. is not revealing what the development will include.

“What we can tell you is that our plan also helps put Milwaukee in the most competitive position to attract larger meetings and events,” Joseph Khairallah, chief operating officer of Marcus Hotels & Resorts said in a written statement. “Before we provide details, we think it is appropriate to first discuss any public release of information with City decision makers to respect their RFP process.”

Marcus is working with Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen and Mortenson Construction.

In July, the City of Milwaukee issued a request for proposal for the 2-acre site south of Wisconsin Avenue between 4th and 5th streets.

Jeff Fleming, spokesman for the Milwaukee Department of Community Development, said a review of the Marcus proposal and the $279.6 million proposal by Milwaukee-based hotel development firm Jackson Street Holdings, LLC, would be reviewed “in coming weeks.”

The review will be conducted by DCD staff and community members who are “knowledgeable about design and development,” Fleming said.

The rolling RFP will remain open. The next deadline to submit a proposal to the city will be Oct. 31.

The decision to issue the RFP for the site is a result of multiple inquiries from local and out-of-state developers who are interested in the property for a mix of uses including residential, office and a hotel, Rocky Marcoux, commissioner of the department of city development, said at the time.

The Marcus-Eppstein Uhen-Mortenson proposal represents a creative, activated, and iconic initial idea that meets the City’s goals, as well as works from a financial feasibility and economic impact standpoint, Khairallah said.

Jackson Street Holdings’ project, to be called Nexus, would include three hotels totaling 506 rooms, 130,000 square feet of convention space and 22,000 square feet of street-level restaurants, bars and cafés at the site.

It would fully integrate the city’s planned downtown streetcar, according to plans from Milwaukee-based Arrival Partners, which is developing the project with Jackson Street.

The city’s asking price for the site (at 401-441 W. Wisconsin Ave.) is $4.6 million. The city has already agreed to fund all streetcar-related infrastructure, but has stated tax incremental financing or other city assistance is not available for development of the site.

The Wisconsin Center District would fund and own the convention and meeting facilities in the Nexus project. The convention and meeting spaces would be into and built over the streetcar route. The skywalks would be funded by the city and the Wisconsin Center District, according to the proposal by Jackson Street Holdings.

Marcus has not said how much its project would cost or how it would be funded.

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