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Downtown Kaukauna hotel and housing project gain traction

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 7:19 PM CDT
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KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) - Some big changes could be coming to downtown Kaukauna, where a proposed hotel and condo project is gaining traction.

Thursday afternoon, the city’s plan commission approved a preliminary design plan.

On the site of what was once a former car dealership near the intersection of Lawe Street and Wisconsin, now has a lot of potential as Kaukauna city officials review renderings of a 67-unit, 3-story hotel, and 101-unit, 5-story apartment complex.

“It will be huge for the city of Kaukauna that will be bringing over a hundred-and-some people downtown to actually live in our downtown business district, and then people to stay in our downtown business district. Then people will buy gas, shop at our stores, our restaurants, our bars,” said Mayor Tony Penterman.

Penterman says there is a need, especially for housing in the area, according to a recent market study.

However, previous attempts to close a deal on a downtown hotel with a developer have posed a challenge for city officials.

Penterman said, “For years we worked with a hotel and that didn’t come to fruition. Then we worked with that same hotel with a different investor, and that didn’t come to fruition. Now we’re here with this third developer for this hotel, and we’re hoping this comes to life.”

According to the developer, the hotel will be under the brand name Sleep Inn by Choice Hotels.

To address concerns over parking, much of it at the housing complex will be underground.

Plus, the plan commission had other ideas. “They want some more masonry on the front facade to make it a little more nicer, higher end hotel,” Penterman said.

The developer is requesting TIF financing from the city as part of the deal.

A final vote by the city council is expected in mid-July. If approved, construction could start several weeks later.

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