As first published by BizTimes.
Developer Mike Klein and restaurateur-turned developer Jeno Cataldo are looking to transform a notable, but underused corner along Brady Street on Milwaukee’s East Side.
A limited liability company affiliated with the pair recently applied to rezone a property at north of Brady Street and in between North Cambridge and East Farwell avenues, to build an 11-story, 130-room hotel at the site.
The corner is currently the site of the two-story Farwell Point retail building. Constructed in 1987, the roughly 12,000-foot-building was long home to a FedEx retail operation. Today the building houses only one tenant, Mega Media Xchange, which sells video game systems and accessories.
While the parcel is zoned “local business,” making hotels a permitted use, the developers are looking to have a detailed plan development created for the site.
Speaking about the project on Tuesday, Mike Klein of Klein Development said he and Cataldo had been looking for about a year for another project to team up on when the Farwell Point building came on the market. They bought the building in July for just over $1.5 million, spending the following months trying to figure out what might be the best fit for the site.
“We looked at a number of different options, retail, multi-family, etc., but it became abundantly clear that a hotel was the best use,” Klein said. “Since then, we have been meeting with the city, and getting the drawings and plans to a point where they would be ready for submittal.”
The pair is still in the process of finding branding and operating partners for the hotel, but Klein said he and Cataldo are bullish on the project.
“The numbers penciled out for the hotel, but we also just thought it was the right thing to do for the street, and that it would be really exciting to have a nice hotel on that location,” he said.
This would be the first hotel project for the partners, who previously worked on The Easton apartment building at 1632 N. Franklin Place and The Eastsider Apartments at 2900 N. Oakland Ave.
Kahler Slater is listed as the architect on the project.