First Hospitality Group, Inc. to “Top Off” Construction of Historic Adaptive Reuse Project
By: Mark Winter
Community leaders to recognize transformation of the Loyalty Building to Hilton Garden Inn
Rosemont, Ill. May 7, 2012 – Rosemont, Ill.-based First Hospitality Group, Inc. (FHG) announced today it has completed the structural framework to transform the landmark Loyalty Building into the new 128-room Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Hotel. First Hospitality Group, Inc. President and COO Robert J. Habeeb made the announcement.
This construction milestone will be celebrated with a “topping off” ceremony on Tuesday, May 15 that will bring together local community leaders for a guided tour of the historic building, speeches from key project leaders and a reception at the nearby Grain Exchange Room. Attendees will include local government officials, Historical Society and VISIT Milwaukee members, former Loyalty Building tenants and project staff.
“The Hilton Garden Inn redevelopment is a critical component of the city’s plan to revive the North Broadway Street corridor,” said Alderman Robert Bauman. “This adaptive reuse project will stimulate economic growth in the downtown and maintain the unique character of the famed Loyalty Building.”
The transformation of the Loyalty Building, one of the city’s architectural gems and the original headquarters of Northwestern Mutual Life circa 1886, began in late 2011. A Milwaukee and Wisconsin Landmark, as well as being featured on the National Register of Historic Places, the redevelopment of the property will create a positive impact on the local economy and job creation, and increase downtown foot traffic. The building features a magnificent four-story atrium, original granite and limestone floors and façades, and one of the best-preserved and most celebrated 19th century commercial interiors in the state.
“This project will allow the Loyalty Building to show its true splendor and its granite will glimmer again,” said Anna-Marie Opgenorth, Executive Director, Historic Milwaukee, Inc. “As a neighbor to this building, we are thrilled about this project. First Hospitality Group, Inc. is invested in and understands the redevelopment of historic buildings and it is also a win-win for both historic preservation in Milwaukee and economic development.”
Construction for the new Hilton Garden Inn is scheduled for completion by this summer. First Hospitality Group, Inc. will own and operate the property. The hotel is expected to create 75 jobs.
“Adaptive reuse projects like this maintain the important historic fabric of a building’s architecture while reenergizing the building with new offerings that ensure these landmarks will be enjoyed and preserved for generations into the 21st century and beyond,” said Habeeb. “In addition, this project is a complement to our growing portfolio of sustainable hotel conversion projects, which is an environmentally sound way to revitalize and add a level of vibrancy to communities.”
In addition to the Hilton Garden Inn, the Loyalty Building will include approximately 4,500 square feet of ground floor retail space, which is anticipated to include innovative food and beverage outlets. The Hilton Garden Inn will work in concert with the iconic Grain Exchange Room operated by Bartolotta Restaurants located in the neighboring Mackie Building. The Mackie Building, also on the National Historic Register, is owned by an affiliate of First MKD, LLC, and is currently in process of its own restoration. Additional improvements are scheduled for the Mackie Building, which will have more than 20,000 square feet of renovated office space available for lease.
First Hospitality Group Inc. has been involved in the development, ownership, and management of hotels since 1985. Currently, the First Hospitality Group, Inc. portfolio of over 52 hotels consists primarily of Hilton and Marriott affiliated assets. In addition, First Hospitality Group, Inc. has ownership interests and manages hotels affiliated with InterContinental, Hyatt, and Carlson. For further information, visit www.fhginc.com.
Hilton Garden Inn is the award-winning, upscale, yet affordable hotel brand that continually strives to ensure today’s busy travelers have everything they need to be most productive on the road — from our oh-so-comfortable Garden Sleep System® bed to complimentary wired and Wi-Fi Internet access in all guestrooms. So whether on the road for personal or business reasons, travellers can count on the brand to support them on their road to success. Log on to www.hgimediacenter.com or visit www.hgi.com for more information.Connect with Hilton Garden Inn at www.facebook.com/hiltongardeninn, www.twitter.com/HGI_INNsider.
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