OSHKOSH - The City Center Hotel is set to receive an $8 million facelift. And UW Oshkosh is part of the plan.
UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells says the university is teaming up with hotel group WHG companies LLC to buy the hotel from current owners, Nashco Hospitality Group.
But since the sale isn't official, they aren't disclosing the sale price. Wells says the school sees the hotel as an investment in its future.
"Universities have to be more involved in thoughtful and creative ways because state appropriations are shrinking and how can we bring revenue to move the academic mission of the institution?" said Wells.
The city center hotel's general manager would not comment about the sale on camera. But Wells says in the next 90 days the sale should be official.
Oshkosh's convention and visitors bureau says the hotel is in need of change.
"The hotel is just tired. It hasn't been renovated, it hasn't been flagged. There have been promises for renovations but we haven't see that happen," said Wendy Hielsberg with the bureay.
"When the hotel opens we can book multi-day conventions and the more people will stay downtown to go shopping to go to restaurants," said City Manager Mark Rohloff.
But before change can happen, Rohloff says the new owners will need some help.
"The hotel, in order to make this successful, they're going to need some financial assistance from the city," Rohloff.
Rohloff says TIF funds will help the hotel out financially during the renovations. Once the renovations are complete, the hotel owners will pay an increased property tax based on the value of the property.
While no contract is signed, Wells says he'd like construction to start by this winter, and hopefully have it completed by the summer.
On top of the hotel, UW Oshkosh is taking on another project. It's building a new riverfront alumni center on the south side of campus.
Officials with the university say the new building will be 22,000 square feet. It will provide meeting space, a ballroom and oversized board rooms.
The construction date is undecided, and the university doesn't know how much it will cost yet. However officials say they will not use state funds or tuition dollars for the project.
- Click here to see a video of what the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center will look like.
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