GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - We've reported on its delays for five years now, but the court-appointed attorney now leading the Hotel Northland project in downtown Green Bay is confident it's back on track now that KPH Construction is out.
The new man in charge, Paul Swanson, chose a new construction manager and general contractor: Ganther Construction out of Oshkosh. Swanson says Ganther is very familiar with renovation projects, like the Watermark in downtown Green Bay.
"They're currently doing the Eagles Club in Oshkosh, which is a real historic renovation. He's done a lot of work in the Chicago area on a lot of assisted-living, so they sort of understand the hospitality business,” Swanson told Action 2 News Friday.
This new hire means Keith Harenda and his company KPH Construction are out.
"I have nothing against KPH, other than they didn't finish the project. I haven't been on the case long enough to form an opinion. I think it really was more that the lenders just had lost faith,” said Swanson.
Swanson also promises an audit after five aldermen accused Mayor Jim Schmitt and the city of misusing money for the project.
"I understand that there have been some allegations that money was misused and we'll get to the bottom of that, but it certainly wasn't the fault of the lenders. The lenders all lent in good faith and believed that the money was being spent in the project, so there's no- near as I can tell, this brouhaha with the city-- I think that's a tempest in a teapot, to be honest with you,” said Swanson.
"The mayor, the development director, the city attorney—are just great. I mean, I couldn't have gotten any better cooperation than I did from them,” Swanson added.
He's working with Octogon Finance to secure $8 million to fund sub-contractors and continue work—now estimating the hotel will open in August of 2018.