OAK CREEK — The IKEA off Interstate 94 is slated to have a new neighbor — a new hotel with over 200 rooms, designed by the same developers behind Wilderness on the Lake and the Wilderness Hotel and Golf Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.
On Tuesday, the Oak Creek City Council approved a development agreement with Stand Rock Hospitality, operating as Oak Creek Hotel Ventures LLC, for a two-phase hotel project with a conference and event center just south of IKEA, which is located at the northwest corner of I-94 and Drexel Avenue.
The first phase of the project calls for a 121-room Homewood Suites by Hilton with a 11,500-square-foot event space. The second phase is a second hotel, a Tru by Hilton, with an additional 90 to 100 rooms. Both phases will encompass approximately 5 acres and equates a $30 million investment. The developer has also suggested that in the future the conference and event center could expand up to another 5,000 square feet.
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Stand Rock plans to break ground in early spring 2020 and plans to complete construction of the first phase in early summer 2021.
Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz said the conference and event center is a targeted development from the city’s strategic action plan.
“We really saw additional demand for this type of offering in the south shore area; there was a void,” Bukiewizcz said in a press release. “Our strategy is to ensure week-long activity to support other food, entertainment and retail venues, and when you bring folks in from outside the area during the work week, it can really add to the vibrancy we seek to attract to Oak Creek, especially in the nighttime hours.”
The city will use tax-increment financing to help finance the project with Stand Rock. Stand Rock is known for its Wilderness Resorts in the Wisconsin Dells and recently completed a Hampton Inn & Suites in West Allis which includes the State Fair Park Conference Center.
“We’ve been successful in West Allis. With that, we also have a firm understanding of the market segment south of I-94,” said Pete Helland Jr., managing partner for Stand Rock. “Our new investment in Oak Creek is like a logical extension of that market reconnaissance. We saw a great opportunity in this emerging market and the desire to partner with Northwestern Mutual (the property owner) to help catalyze its progressive plans for this appealing site was very attractive.”