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Ruvin Development Inc.and Gatehouse Capital Corp. Line Up Financing
 for a 160 room Aloft Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee

By Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Feb. 29, 2008 - Construction is to begin in mid-April on a 160-room Aloft Hotel in downtown Milwaukee's Park East area, the $40 million project's developer said Thursday.

Robert Ruvin said financing is lined up for the development, which will include nine two-story condominiums above the seven-story hotel. The development will overlook the Milwaukee River, north of W. Juneau Ave., on land that Ruvin and his partners bought a year ago.

The project's financing includes a $33 million loan. Ruvin said the lender doesn't want to be named publicly at this time.

The hotel is expected to open in the summer of 2009, and it will include 3,500 square feet of street-level retail space, Ruvin said.

The condos are priced starting from $540,000 for a one-bedroom unit, with two-bedroom units ranging from $980,000 to $1.2 million. Each unit will come with a boat slip, and two condos have been sold so far, Ruvin said.

His firm, Ruvin Development Inc., is developing the Aloft project with Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital Corp.

Gatehouse and Ruvin have a much larger project planned just west of the Aloft project. The firms have proposed a 180-room Kimpton Palomar Hotel, along with offices, 70 condominiums, retail space and a parking structure, on a block bordered by W. Juneau and W. McKinley avenues, and N. Old World 3rd and N. 4th streets.

Development of the Palomar-anchored project has been slowed by tightening conditions in the commercial credit markets. Ruvin and Gatehouse have recently increased their marketing for that project, including the construction of a nearby sales center. That center, which will include a model condo, is to open in April, Ruvin said.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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