Concerns mount over stalled Hotel Northland project

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Weeks after teens are arrested for breaking and entering, concern is mounting over the stalled Hotel Northland project heading into the winter months.

Despite complaints to the city, Rhonda Sitnikau says windows with no screens inside Hotel Northland have been open for months, potentially causing damage to the multi-million dollar project. She blames current hotel owner Keith Harenda for "giving up" after he was unable to deliver the finances needed to finish the project.

"He is the person that holds the keys essentially to the building, but regardless of that, he's not doing his job to watch over the building as the building's owner,” she told Action 2 News Thursday.

The Historical Preservation Commission is also worried about potential damage to Hotel Northland if the power doesn't get turned back on soon. City officials say with winter around the corner, they don't want the hotel's stalled progress to be impacted.

"The power has been disconnected from the building. Utilities have been disconnected, so there's no service to that. The best option, in our view, is really to move forward with receivership, and that is getting a process forward to get the building back open and get workers back on site,” said Green Bay Economic Development Director Kevin Vonck.

On October 3, a judge will appoint a receiver to work with the company Octagon, which will finance the project.

However, the city would prefer to get the power back on sooner than later.

"You're dealing with a huge, eight-story structure,” said Vonck. “It's not just as easy as flipping the switch back on, so it's really important that we make sure that we get all the contractors who were working on it back in there."

"Time is our enemy right now, so we would support somebody who can get things done as soon as possible,” Vonck said.

Action 2 News' request for a statement from Keith Harenda’s company KPG Construction was met with the following statement in the late afternoon:

"KPH Construction has monitored the site during this shutdown and also relies on the Green Bay Police Department to monitor the building. There are a few old windows on upper floors that reopen due to faulty older latches. KPH is addressing that now and we appreciate local residents alerting authorities of any issues."

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