Milwaukee-based KPH Construction and an Iowa-based firm have begun renovating the Hotel Northland in downtown Green Bay after closing on the deal to purchase the historic property in late December.
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Hotel Northland in downtown Green Bay[/caption]
Keith Harenda, owner of KPH, which is also the general contractor on the $44 million project, said the 160-room hotel in downtown Green Bay is expected to open in the fall.
“It’s an aggressive timeline, but we can do it and bring this hotel back to it’s original grandeur,” Harenda said.
Harenda is working with co-developer Mike Frantz of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Frantz Community Investors, on the project. KPH Construction originally submitted a bid to do the general contracting work on the hotel two years ago, but was not selected.
Harenda, who has owned KPH since 1999, continued to think about the project and called Frantz six months later to ask him how the project was progressing.
“He was struggling with moving the project forward and ended up removing the team he had in place,” Harenda said. “We formed a partnership in June 2014 to co-develop the hotel.”
Built in 1924, the Northland was considered the “grand dame” of Green Bay hotels for more than 50 years before being converted to senior apartments in the late 1970s. The city issued an RFP asking developers to renovate the property and bring it back to its original 1920s appearance.
The hotel will include two restaurants, Gridiron, a sportsbar, and Jazzmine's, a high-end restaurant. It will also include a ballroom that will be similar to what is at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee, Harenda said.
Kevin Vonck, director of economic development for the city of Green Bay, said the project has been a long time coming and will do amazing things for the city’s downtown.
“This is a celebrated, historic landmark that many people have treasured,” Vonck said. “We’re very excited to have a high-end boutique hotel right in the downtown area. It will help us attract visitors, and for the local residents, there will be some great new restaurants and a social club.”
The project includes more than $2.5 million in city support, a $4.7 million loan through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, $15 million in historic tax credits and several other grants.
The project will create 180 construction jobs and 166 permanent hotel jobs.
This is the second project Harenda has worked on as a developer.
He also purchased the building at 216 S. Second St. in Walker’s Point in December 2012, remodeled the building, and opened Black Sheep bar on the first floor (Company B Brand Marketing is housed on the second level.) Harenda owned and operated Black Sheep until July 2015, when he sold the business to Mike Sorge and Wes Shaver.
“I’ve loved putting (the Hotel Northland) project together,” Harenda said. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be the largest project I’ve done to date.”