Workers return to Hotel Northland renovation

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After a legal battle over the ownership of the Hotel Northland, workers have returned to the project in downtown Green Bay.

KPH Construction says workers from Green Bay-based VerHalen Inc., Craftmaster Painting, and Spolar Studios are back on the estimated $44 million restoration project.

"We are incredibly grateful to these dedicated companies, said Keith Harenda, President and CEO of KPH Construction, and owner of the Hotel Northland. "They have been tremendous supporters of this redevelopment project, and their work will help get Hotel Northland fully open before the fall."

Hotel Northland project leaders say final negotiations are underway to replace the senior lender. Earlier this year, a lender pulled out of the project, taking with them $12.8 million.

Earlier this month, a Brown County judge settled the question of who owns the Hotel Northland. The judge said Keith Harenda is the sole owner, but he must fulfill a list of conditions in a settlement agreement with previous owner Michael Frantz.

In the agreement, Harenda would buyout Frantz for a half a million dollars.

Recently unsealed court documents show an email between lawyers saying Harenda was going to ask the city for another half-million dollars to buy out Frantz. Harenda later withdrew the request, saying he doesn't need the city's help. After the emails became public, Mayor Jim Schmitt said the city didn't know that was what Harenda wanted the money for.

Harenda said he still doesn't need the city's help and will find another way to pay Frantz.

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