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Developers move forward on plan for a 104-room hotel in West Allis

June 4, 2014

West Allis — Developers of a 104-room nearly $13 million hotel proposed for 82nd Street and Greenfield Avenue started the lengthy West Allis approval process this week.

They requested a special use permit for the proposed hotel and banquet facility that would be a Hampton Inn & Suites. Hotels are allowed in the area but only as special uses that need Common Council approval.

The next step will be for the developers to submit a building and site plan. The Plan Commission will likely take that up at its July meeting.

A public hearing on the proposal could come in early August before the Common Council.

City officials said they believe the developers want to start pouring footings in mid-August.

The project is on schedule, as far as officials can tell, said Steve Schaer, planning and zoning manager.

Development officials have been looking forward to a hotel in that redevelopment area for three or four years.

This proposal hit a log jam with financing from investors living outside the country who needed federal approval. Because getting foreign investors to fund projects has become so popular, federal authorities were inundated with requests, resulting in months of delays.

But that log jam finally gave way about this time last year and the project could move forward.

The 20 Chinese investors who had to be cleared by federal Homeland Security will provide $10 million. The city will provide a $650,000 loan and equity partners will provide the balance of $2 million for a total $12,650,000 hotel development.

The hotel is expected to generate about $320,000 per year in new property taxes, which the city can use to pay off its loan — an arrangement known as tax incremental financing.

The hotel also should generate an additional $140,000 in hotel room taxes, John Stibal, development director said.

Rooms are expected to go for about $110 per night and the banquet facility will accommodate about 300.

The hotel will be owned and operated by the same investors who own the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.

The hotel should generate about 80 full-time construction jobs, then is projected to support 30 to 40 full-time jobs and 30 to 40 part-time jobs.

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