Thursday, March 4, 2021

Converting Zahn's in Racine Into Hotel to Begin This Spring

Mar. 2, 2021 9:35p

(WGTD)---A downtown Racine redevelopment project that was sidelined for a while by the pandemic is back on track.

Tuesday night the city council unanimously approved a tweaking to an incentive agreement for the conversion of the former Zahn's Department Store on Monument Square into an 80-room boutique hotel with a restaurant, roof-top bar and meeting rooms. 

The $30 million project was originally unveiled in late 2019. 

Because financing fell apart when the virus hit, the Milwaukee-based developer had to rework the funding package.

Changes that needed to be approved by the council included increasing a city loan from $4 million to $5.5 million, rejiggering parking space allocations and extending the deadline for the start of construction to July 15th of this year. 

The changes were initially discussed in an hour-long closed session, then approved in open session. 

"We have all talked about the Zahn's building for decades and what would become of it," Mayor Cory Mason said. "This could potentially be the first of what we hope will be several projects that we'll see in the downtown," he said. 

The nearly century-old building has been vacant for several decades. 

The new development will be called "Hotel Verdant." 


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