RDA approves plans for new $30 million hotel near Lambeau Field

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Over the past few months, we have seen a lot of development around Lambeau Field, but the property best remembered as Brett Favre’s Steakhouse has been vacant for months now.

But that building, located in the shadows of Lambeau Field on Brett Favre Pass, could become a new luxury hotel.

“I think we are ready for a second wave and hopefully this will be the project that leads it,” said Kevin Vonck, Green Bay’s Development Director.

With development agreement approval by Green Bay’s Redevelopment Authority last week, ‘The Legacy’ hotel is closer to becoming a reality.

“We feel that Lodge Kohler introduced an upscale product to that region so we think that there’s room to position a hotel of this caliber to anchor the other side of Lambeau Field,” said Dennis Doucette, principal-partner with Legendary Hotels, LLC. He is the developer of the hotel.

The $30 million, 5-story luxury hotel will include dozens of suites, a spa component, a grass to table small restaurant, barista café and rooftop bar and terrace.

Instead of building the hotel in the middle of the lot, the developers are actually building it on the northern side of the lot to allow for future expansion.

“We wanted to open up that corridor. Badger State Brewery really laid the ground work for Legends District, as far as, establishing that immediate area for retail and recreation and food and beverage,” said Doucette.

But with hotels popping up all over lately, will the area have a hard time filling more rooms?

“Our conversations with municipalities and cities that are looking at adding hotel product is the importance of also adding demand generators that are going to fill those rooms,” said Brad Toll, President and CEO of Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Toll said it can be a tough gig.

“One-hundred rooms, when you do the math, is over 36,000 room nights through the course of the year you have to put heads in beds,” said Toll.

However, Toll said the new expo center, replacing the Brown County Veteran’s Memorial Arena, should help.

“It’s exciting to have the new expo center under construction because that is a building that will actually draw a number of room nights into the area, that will be complete in 2021,” said Toll.

Doucette said teaming up with a national hotel chain could also help them out.

“A franchise brings additional value to the asset as a starting point. We think it brings stability to project in minds of city and lenders, at the same time, because there is so much business travel in the Legends District, due to Lambeau Field, Resch Center and the upcoming expo center, we think the reservation system can be impactful for a hotel of this magnitude,” said Doucette.

Doucette said they are in the process of talking to three different hotel brands. Wyndham is at the top of the list, but it hasn’t been finalized. Doucette said it won’t be a complete collaboration, rather a soft brand collaboration.

“So we get all the advantages of reservation system, stability of corporate office and infrastructure, but have flexibility to operate in our own style,” said Doucette.

If everything goes according to plan, Doucette said they hope to break ground later this year, with a grand opening by next summer. He said they would like to be up and running for the football season next year.

The projects development agreement still need final approval by Green Bay’s City Council.

“We think this is an opportunity for the Legends District to raise the bar and encourage other development whether it be retail, food and beverage or residential that could be of an upscale nature,” said Doucette.