Demolition starts building process of downtown Milwaukee hotel

Demolition starts building process of downtown Milwaukee hotel

By The WTMJ News Team. CREATED Nov 28, 2011

MILWAUKEE - It has been in the works for years, but plans are finally moving forward for a new hotel in Downtown Milwaukee.

Demolition work was to start Monday morning on a site of a new Marriott east of the Milwaukee River near the corner of North Broadway and West Wisconsin Avenue.

The Downtown Milwaukee Marriott construction project is ready.

Construction crews will preserve a large portion of buildings that are considered historic sites.

Many of those buildings were originally planned to be destroyed before an alternate plan for the hotel was hatched.

Alderman Bob Bauman was initially the project's biggest opponent.

"I'm basically pleased with the project," said Bauman. 

"They made substantial changes to the design.  They are only going to demolish three buildings in the historic district instead of five."

Bauman's issue was preserving these historic buildings.

Hotel developers agreed to his requests, and tweaked plans to make it possible to preserve all of the facades of the 19th century along Wisconsin Avenue.

"I think the most important part was our willingness to look at Wisconsin Avenue and try to find a way not to take the buildings down, but restore them to a more original state.  I think a lot of people were excited about that," said project spokesman Evan Zeppos.

The project is expected to cost $54 million, and will bring in hundreds of new jobs to the area.

The demolition was to begin Monday afternoon with a kickoff ceremony, with construction taking about two years to complete.