Westin hotel planned downtown

Milwaukee-based Jackson Street Management LLC plans to build a 200-room Westin hotel on a vacant lot south of the U.S. Bank Center at 777 E. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee.

Westin Hotels & Resorts is an upscale hotel chain owned by Stamford, Conn.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

“(Westin is) a well-recognized brand that stands for high quality,” said Evan Zeppos, spokesman for Jackson Street Management.

Construction could begin by the end of this year, It would be the first location in Wisconsin for the Westin brand. Zeppos declined to disclose any additional details about the project.
Jackson Street Management built the 160-room Aloft hotel at 1230 N. Old World Third St. in downtown Milwaukee in 2009 and the 205-room Marriott hotel at 323 E. Wisconsin Ave. in 2013.

“We’re very bullish on downtown Milwaukee,” Zeppos said. “The Aloft has been very, very successful. The Marriott has far exceeded our expectations after one year.”

Several hotels have been built in downtown Milwaukee in recent years. In addition to the Aloft and the Marriott, the downtown area has added the 90-room Brewhouse Inn & Suites, which opened last year in the former Pabst brewery complex, and the 127-room Hilton Garden Inn, which opened in 2012. Later this year a new 381-room hotel will open at Potawatomi Bingo casino near downtown.

Despite the influx of new hotels, Jackson Street Management still believes that downtown Milwaukee needs more new hotel rooms, Zeppos said. As of 2012 the average age of downtown Milwaukee hotel rooms was 44 years old.

“People still prefer new (hotels) versus old,” Zeppos said. “Milwaukee needs more quality hotel rooms.”

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