Port board OKs plans for downtown hotel overhaul

Panel praises design of new entrance intended to give Harborview a prominent presence on Grand Ave.

A REVISED PLAN for changes to the Holiday Inn Harborview was approved by the Port Washington Design Review Board Tuesday and will be presented to the Plan Commission at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15.
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Minor revisions to plans for improvements to the Holiday Inn Harborview in Port Washington were approved by the city’s Design Review Board Tuesday.

The major change is a new entrance to the hotel from Grand Avenue at Franklin Street, giving the inn a presence on the city’s main road.

The entrance, which will supplement an entry from the parking lot, will be directly below the archway on the east end of the building. The entry will be accented with a canopy that’s a different shade of blue than the one over other portions of the building.

“This is a great focal point,” board member Jeremy Hartline said. “I love the idea of a different color on the canopy. It says, ‘This is the place to go.’”

He suggested adding  more glass to the entrance, perhaps through sidelights, while board member Melissa Didier suggested adding panels on the brick pillars flanking the entry.

Those panels could echo those used to accent vertical elements on the north facade of the building, she said.

Although the original plan presented to the board last week called for a color scheme with teal tones, architect Michael Maas of Architectural Design Consultants Inc. said varying shades of a grey-blue are being considered instead.

Board member Adele Richert suggested Lund consider installing solar panels on the roof of the hotel, saying it’s a perfect location for them.

Last week, Harborview owner Eric Lund unveiled plans to give the hotel a facelift inside and out, including enclosing the carport on the east side of the inn to create a new bar and restaurant, expanding the lobby, creating new conference rooms and a patio on the west slip and improving the facade.

The changes are a precursor to Lund’s decision to leave the Holiday Inn brand next year and, rather than affiliate with a national chain, operate an independent, boutique hotel called the Harborview.

To accommodate the conversion of the carport, the Board of Public Works on Tuesday was asked to consider moving the storm sewer that runs underneath the structure.

Board members agreed, but said they don’t want the city to move ahead with the project, which is estimated to cost $30,000 to $40,000, unless the hotel project is sure to move forward.

Board Chairman Jason Wittek asked whether the city would shoulder the cost or  if it would be paid by the developer.

City Administrator Mark Grams noted that while the hotel is not in the city’s tax incremental financing district, the parking area — and the storm sewer —is in the district.

TIF funding or a revolving loan could be used to pay for the project, he said.

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