GREEN BAY - Tuesday is decision day for Green Bay's city council concerning the Clarion Hotel.
Council members have two options to choose from and there is a projected $27 million difference between them.
"They've really got to believe in us from a timing perspective," said Ed Vandenack of Edgewater Resources. "Their concern is that we might go through our due diligence and find out that we don't have a deal here, but we're already past that."
Edgewater Resources wants to demolish the Clarion Hotel to make way for a 16-story, four-star hotel. It would include 200 hotel rooms on eight floors, 28 condo units on four floors, plus a restaurant, marina, full-service spa and a rooftop viewing platform. Edgewater projects the budget to be about $33.5 million.
"All I know is that our project and our product is going to work," said Vandenack.
The other option is one that seemed like a done deal a few weeks ago. The Clarion's current management firm, American Hospitality Management, had a deal to buy the hotel from the city for $2.7 million. They plan to invest $4 million in upgrades.
"Completely redoing the guest rooms, corridors, lobby, front desk areas, guest area, probably down to bare walls and starting over," said Chris Godfrey of American Hospitality Management on June 11th.
Talking with city council members and other downtown leaders, it's hard to gauge which option the council will choose. But everyone agrees, it's important to make a decision because the planned expansion of the K-I Convention Center depends on it.
"When we take our convention center out and market it, you have to have the right number of rooms that go along with the convention center as well or quality rooms very nearby it," said Brad Toll of the Greater Green Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The council's decision also impacts another downtown project. Developers for the Hotel Northland extended their window for due diligence by 30 days to see which Clarion option is chosen.
"We are a little concerned the area might not be able to absorb 360 rooms of that price point and that product," said Mike Frantz with Hobart Community Investors, a development company finalizing plans for the Northland.
If the council chooses the $6.7 million redevelopment option, Hotel Northland developers say they will close in 30 days and start construction in October. If the council chooses the four-star option, Northland developers will continue researching to see how many higher-end hotel rooms the city can handle.
"We have 4,300 hotel rooms, so we have a wide range of different types of hotels available," said Toll. "For us, the important thing is getting that hotel renovated along with the convention center expanded."
City leaders would like both of those projects complete by the Spring of 2015.
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