September 26, 2017
Burlington, Iowa-based Hawkeye Hotels purchased 5 acres of land in The Corridor development along I-94 in Brookfield and plans to break ground on two hotels by the end of the year.
Deer Creek LLC, an affiliate of Milwaukee-based development firm Irgens sold the land to Hawkeye for an undisclosed price on Monday, said Ravi Patel, president Hawkeye.
The company is planning to build a Holiday Inn Express & Suites and a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in the middle of the 66-acre development, just south of the new 55,000-square-foot ProHealth Medical Group clinic that is currently under construction.
The hotels will have 137 and 132 rooms and share a parking lot.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye Hotels is looking at other sites in the area for additional hotels.
“We are looking at quite a few development deals, which include other properties in Brookfield, as well as properties in downtown Milwaukee and the other suburbs,” Patel said. “What we are seeing is Brookfield is actually the strongest submarket in all of Milwaukee, outside of downtown.”
As far as downtown Milwaukee, Patel said Hawkeye is evaluating a “variety of sites, but has not locked down anything yet.”
Hawkeye is a family-owned company founded in 1982. The company owns and operates more than $400 million in assets across the Midwest including the Courtyard Milwaukee north/Brown Deer at 5200 W. Brown Deer Road, which it purchased out of receivership about two and half years ago.
There has been concern among some existing hoteliers in the Brookfield market that the city does not have a need for the additional hotel rooms.
In addition to the Hawkeye Hotels, The City of Brookfield is also working on a conference center with an adjacent 175-room hotel development in the Brookfield Square parking lot and another Iowa-based hotel operator is planning to redevelop the Goerkes Park Business Center office building in the Town of Brookfield into an 82-room Tru by Hilton hotel.
The city issued an RFP for its hotel but has not yet chosen an operator. Hawkeye Hotels reviewed the RFP, but did not pursue it, said Jay Bhakta, principal with Minneapolis-based JR Hospitality.
For the first eight months of the year, hotel occupancy in Brookfield was 59.6 percent, down 5.2 percent from the same period in 2016, according to Hendersonville, Tennessee-based hotel market data firm STR Inc.
But at the same time, the average daily room rates for the hotels have not suffered. In Brookfield, the average daily rate was $107.59 per night, up 5.5 percent from the first eight months of 2016, according to STR.
“We believe the demand is there to support our two hotels,” Patel said. “Our reports and due diligence is all coming out very positive. We are excited to be part of Brookfield and the greater Milwaukee market. I believe we will add a lot of value, help with job creation and enhance an already robust community.”