Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:57 pm
Burlington, Iowa-based Hawkeye Hotels is planning to purchase 5 acres in the Corridor development in Brookfield to build two hotels.
The hotels, which are expected to be about 100 to 120 rooms each, will be located in the middle of the 66-acre development, just south of the new 55,000-square-foot ProHealth Medical Group clinic that is currently under construction, said Dan Ertl, director of community development for the city of Brookfield.
A source familiar with the Brookfield project said one of the hotels being planned will likely be a Holiday Inn Express. Both hotels will be mid to upper-mid range brands, the source said.
Representatives from Hawkeye Hotels and their development partner, Jay Bhakta, principal with Minneapolis-based JR Hospitality, met with city officials this week, Ertl said.
Before the project can move forward, the group will have to secure a specific precise plan district. The city plan commission will likely review the proposal in July or August, Ertl said.
The Corridor is a mixed-use project between Bluemound Road and I-94 that is being developed by Deer Creek LLC, an affiliate of Milwaukee-based development firm Irgens.
Irgens CEO and manger Mark Irgens said it is too early to comment on the hotel project. Representatives from Hawkeye Hotels were traveling Friday and could not be reached for comment.
According to the group’s website, Hawkeye is a family-owned company founded in 1982. The company owns and operates more than $400 million in assets across the Midwest including the Courtyard Milwaukee north/Brown Deer at 5200 W. Brown Deer Road.
Hawkeye has affiliations with several brands including Marriott, Hilton, InterContinental and Starwood.
The location of the hotels is where the city of Brookfield originally wanted to build its new hotel and conference center. The city ultimately decided to walk away from the Corridor site when it became clear a parking structure would be needed to accommodate guests, making the project too costly, Ertl said.
The city has since chosen to build its conference center and adjacent hotel at a 9 acre site in the Brookfield Square Mall parking lot. Ertl said the city is working to secure a hotel partner for the project and hopes to have someone in place by mid-July.
The city issued an RFP this week asking for a development partner to build a 175-room hotel at the Sears site, according to a source.
Greg Hanis, a hotel industry analyst and president of New Berlin-based Hospitality Marketers International Inc., said given the occupancy rate over the last five years in the western suburban market he is surprised three hotels are being planned in Brookfield.
Hotel occupancy in the western suburbs was 63 percent last year. Since 2011, occupancy has been between in the low 60s, according to data compiled by STR.
“Two hotels, of that size, given the present occupancy is inconceivable,” Hanis said. “Plus they are doing the other one at the Sears site. It just doesn’t make any sense, something has got to give.”