Menomonee Falls — When looking for potential buyers of the Radisson Hotel in Menomonee Falls, the key characteristic will be someone with plans to keep it open.
Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge James Kieffer last week gave court-appointed receiver Seth Dizard the ability to sell the property, which is in foreclosure. Dizard was granted permission to begin the process of interviewing commercial real estate brokers, who would then market the property.
Attorney Randall Crocker, who has been representing the village in all court proceedings on the Radisson, said he asked the court for the ability to hire a real estate broker and sell the hotel "in a much more normal way," instead of going through a sheriff's sale. He was granted this request.
"You don't get the kind of assurances and due diligence you get in a normal sale," Crocker said. "(Kieffer) granted the ability to hire a broker and solicit offers and bring it back to the court for acceptance."
Any bids will be brought before village officials for review and approval. If the village finds a buyer they like, the bid will be taken before the court which has to approve the sale.
Crocker said he and village officials believe that the Radisson will be sold to someone "who has a desire to own a Radisson Hotel in Menomonee Falls and operate it."
"We are hopeful the new owners will be able to accomplish that task," he said.
Radisson fills rooms
As the hunt for a new owner begins, the Village Centre Business Improvement District is continuing its mission of promoting the hotel and the RBP Grill. So far, they are finding success.
Starting Jan. 11, 2014 ending the first weekend in May, the Radisson will be the host hotel for the 112th annual Wisconsin State Men's Championship Bowling Tournament. This should bring 12,000-plus people into Menomonee Falls throughout the duration of the tournament.
The Radisson was also selected to be the site of the Annual Meeting and the Hall of Fame Awards Dinner. Sixty local association directors and guests will be attending the annual meeting and staying at the hotel. Along with three other inductees, Menomonee Falls resident Gloria Behr, will be inducted in the Hall of Fame for her years of exemplary service to the bowling community.
A long road in court
The Village Board approved a $17.65 million construction loan to the developer Lodging Investors of Menomonee Falls in 2010. The village lent the money to help move along renovations that stopped because of the 2008 global financial crisis that left the hotel only partially finished. At a board meeting in May 2010, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said that the unfinished hotel was hurting efforts to redevelop nearby properties that included a shopping center on Main Street and Pilgrim Road. That center has since been completed.
After Lodging Investors missed payments on the construction loan, the village filed a foreclosure suit in June 2012, claiming it is owed $14.8 million in principal, plus interest. On July 24, the court found Lodging Investors to be in breach of their contract and as a result has to pay their debt, Crocker said. Those proceedings led to the request to the sell the hotel.
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