New documents reveal no clear owner of Hotel Northland

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – New documents unsealed Monday show there’s no clear owner of Hotel Northland.

The City of Green Bay, which has several million dollars invested into the $44 million project, says that’s a problem. City Council members say they want to know who is in charge and where taxpayer money is going.

Action 2 News was hoping the question of ownership would be answered in the hundreds of pages of documents revealed between Michael Frantz and Keith Harenda, but it wasn’t.

Frantz is the original owner of Hotel Northland, but Harenda said he bought Frantz out in January. The court lawsuit centers on whether that sale actually happened.

Frantz and Harenda are scheduled to be back in court April 14 for a hearing about the disagreement.

But what does ownership have to do with finishing the hotel?

As Action 2 News reported last month, the project is short on funds, to the tune of $12.8 million after a senior lender pulled out of the project.

However, no bank is going to give the project owners more money if the ownership is in question.

City council members want an answer to that question as well.

The city has already pledged millions of dollars to the project, but Hotel Northland recently asked the city for another $500,000.

That additional loan was never granted because Harenda withdrew the request.

However, an email between lawyers involved suggests that the additional $500,000 request from the city would have been used by Harenda to buyout Frantz from the company, in essence using taxpayer dollars.

City council members gave the owners a month to figure out their finances and report back. Members are supposed to discuss the project this Wednesday at the city council meeting.