Inside the Hotel Northland: historic property expected to open in fall

Published: Jul. 19, 2018 at 2:56 PM CDT
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Green Bay's Hotel Northland--a multi-million dollar renovation project long delayed by political fights, funding issues, court hearing and ownership changes--is on track to open this fall, according to General Manager John Williams.

Action 2 News was invited inside the hotel, located at 302 N Adams St, to get a look at the current status of construction. Cearron Bagenda will show us the progress tonight at 5 and 6.

Williams has a history of working with historic hotel projects. The Hotel Northland opened in 1924 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The project incorporates the original tile floors, original architecture, and restores the wood paneling and arched windows.

"The hotel, it's looking good, it really is," Williams says. "Now it's dusty and you know, you walk in there to the untrained eye and you're going to say, 'oh my gosh, how will they ever finish this thing in time?'

"But that-- I've done this many, many times in my career and that's just the way these things come together."

In April,

the sale of the hotel for $33 million. At that time, the hotel was about 70 percent complete.

Now, the hotel is about 90 percent complete, according to owners. Guest rooms on four of the floors are nearly finished.

The hotel will have 160 guest rooms. Sixteen of those rooms are suites.

General Contractor Ganther still has construction work to do and its the finishing touches.

Guest rooms on floors five-through-eight have completed bathrooms, carpeting and doors. Carpets are being installed on floors three and four.

One of the largest projects is restoring the original flooring.

The Walnut Room restaurant needs painting. The bar needs to be installed.

Williams says the famous Crystal Ballroom on the second floor is looking "wonderful."

Williams says they expect to open the hotel sometime during fall of 2018. The grand opening date will likely come after September.

The Hotel Northland project received an historic preservation tax credit, but that could be on the line if the hotel doesn't open by the end of the year.

"There are many, many things that have to happen before you open a hotel from a technology standpoint, from a sales process standpoint, and all those processes kind of follow a critical path, so everything is underway, but we don't have a firm date put together yet," Williams says.

The hotel expects to hire 125-130 people. Some management positions have been filled.

Hiring for hourly jobs will start in August. Williams says there likely will be two job fairs.

Northland will be part of the boutique Marriott Autograph collection.

"There are so many memories within this hotel. People perhaps had a prom there or a ball there or a family event there. Maybe they got a job interview there, signed an important business deal," Williams says. "There are those wonderful memories that people have and when they walk back in, they're going to see many historic elements, the historic fabric of the hotel brought back to life but there'll be some modern touches."

Room rates are being discussed. Williams says they will be competitive.