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Conversion to Begin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of Pabst
Buildings to 90-room Extended Stay Hotel

By Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Aug. 19, 2011--Madison-area development firm Gorman & Co. plans to begin work within 30 to 45 days on converting the former Pabst brew house and mill house, at the northwest corner of W. Juneau Ave. and N. 10th St., into a six-story, 90-room extended stay hotel.

However, a Hofbrauhaus restaurant is no longer part of that project, said Ben Marshall, the firm's lead architect.

Marshall called it a timing issue, saying the restaurant's backers "just weren't ready to get going yet." Gorman is working with the restaurant operators about possibly developing a Hofbrauhaus at another Pabst building, he said.

Andi Udris, who leads the investors group for the planned Hofbrauhaus, couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

Meanwhile, Gorman will seek a smaller restaurant for the hotel, Marshall said. He spoke after zoning changes for the hotel project were approved this week by the Milwaukee Plan Commission.

The conversion of the buildings to a hotel will take 12 to 14 months to complete.

Firm president Gary Gorman said in April that the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service had started approving the first of 30 Chinese citizens who are each providing $500,000 in equity capital for the project.

Gorman is raising the foreign capital through the federal government's EB-5 program. That program allows a foreign citizen to obtain a U.S. residency visa by investing at least $500,000 that creates 10 jobs in a U.S. project or business. The two-year visa can be converted into a green card, which provides permanent U.S. residency privileges to the investor, the investor's spouse and children.

Foreign investors seeking visas under EB-5 undergo scrutiny from the immigration service, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, which ensures U.S. projects aren't used to launder money from criminals. That process for the hotel project started in October.


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Copyright (c) 2011, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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