The new Deer District hotel announced in September now has a name.
The luxury boutique hotel that will sit just across Juneau Avenue from Fiserv Forum on the west side of Vel R. Phillips Avenue will be called The Trade, in honor of the tradespeople who built the city.
“Real estate is our trade and hospitality is our craft,” said Andy Inman, Vice President of Development for North Central Group, which is building the hotel.
“As we’re celebrating 40 years, we decided to look inward (for a name and brand). Milwaukee was founded by traders but Milwaukee was built by the hardworking hands of tradesmen and women.”
Inman noted that the Deer District site has, over the years, been home to machine shops, cooperages, printers, blacksmiths and other tradespeople. He added that his own grandfather delivered ice to Milwaukee businesses and his father helped build the Hoan Bridge.
Construction on the 205-room hotel – part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection of independently owned upscale and luxury hotels – is expected to begin in autumn with an eye toward a 2023 opening.
Findorff is the general contractor on the project.
There are currently two other Autograph Collection hotels in the state: the Hotel Metro and Green Bay's Hotel Northland.
The name and branding were unveiled in a press conference Wednesday morning at the Deer District with Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin and Inman.
The Bucks will lease the portion of land – in the 30-acre Deer District, which has been sprouting in the former Park East freeway corridor – to the Madison-based North Central Group (NCG), which will own and operate the hotel.
NCG operates nearly 30 hotels in five states including two in Brookfield: the Brookfield Conference Center and the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Brookfield Conference Center.
The new hotel – designed by GBA Architects – is projected to create several hundred construction jobs and roughly 100 permanent jobs.
The hotel will have a two-story VIP suite with private access, high-ceiling suites with California king beds and other amenities, more than 9,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor gathering space, a signature restaurant, a destination rooftop restaurant and lounge, and decor that will incorporate and pay tribute to Milwaukee tradespeople.
As announced in September, The Trade will also have a tech-heavy emphasis with mobile check-in and check-out, keyless entry, motion sensor lighting, in-room internet TV with Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora and Crackle, abundant power and USB outlets, and "furiously fast and free Wi-Fi for ultimate connectivity."
"This will be one of the premier hotels in Milwaukee with an ideal location and will further enhance Deer District as a year-round destination" said Feigin at the announcement last year.
"We’re grateful to work with NCG, a fantastic Wisconsin-based partner with a proven record in the hotel management industry, to bring a first-of-its-kind, preeminent boutique hotel to Deer District."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.