Another redevelopment may be on its way to the Near East Side, and its first phase hopes to turn a long-vacant warehouse into a boutique hotel.
Developer Curt Brink plans to redevelop the old Mautz Paint building on the 900 block of East Washington Avenue into a boutique hotel before building a larger-scale office building on the property.
This isn’t Brink’s first plan for the site. In 2005, he proposed a 27-story mixed-use building dubbed “Archipelago Villages” that was later scaled back. This is the first phase in the latest “Archipelago” plan, although Brink said the name might not stay the same moving forward — he said there have been too many problems with misspellings and mispronunciations.
Brink said he couldn’t give specifics about the project, but it would include turning the Kleuter building, which had been used as a warehouse for Mautz Paint, into the hotel.
“The basic building will look exactly the same,” Brink said, but the inside would become one part of the hotel. An addition would be built alongside the building to expand the hotel.
Brink said the height of the addition would remain even with the Kleuter building as it stands now.
Brink also hopes to build a 12- to 15-story mixed-use commercial building on the block in future phases of the development.
Brink and his investors Jim and Marlene Korb own the entire block the Kleuter building sits on, aside from the Madison Credit Union at 949 E. Washington Ave. Brink said they have owned the property for 15 years.
The Kleuter building redevelopment would be the next in a long line of projects for the Capitol East District. The most prominent developments are the Constellation and Galaxie buildings on the northeast and northwest corners of East Washington Avenue and North Livingston Street. Down the avenue on the 1000 block, Stone House Development, Inc. is planning to open its 11-story Lyric Apartments building in August.
“This shows we’re a city that’s not dying,” Brink said of the developments. “We’re a city that’s growing.”
Brink developed the mixed-use entertainment venue at 701 E. Washington Ave., which features the High Noon Saloon, The Brass Ring and The Brink Lounge.
Breese Stevens Field has also seen significant updates, making it a destination for concerts and festivals. The city created Central Park, which holds summer festivals in the East Rail Corridor near Williamson Street, a street known for its locally owned boutique shops.
The location of the Kleuter building works for a hotel because of the attractions from the developments and proximity to niche shopping, Brink said. Ald. Marsha Rummel, who represents the district, agreed.
“The hotel proposal could be a thoughtful way to reuse the historic Kleuter warehouse and could complement the emerging commercial development in the Capital East District,” Rummel said. “It could serve people attending events at Breese Stevens (Field), Central Park and visiting two very popular adjacent neighborhoods.”
Future phases of the development may include housing, Brink said, which he said would have affordable prices. Housing units would come at the end of the development process, if at all, Brink said.
Rummel said her goals for that block are not centered on housing. Instead, Rummel said she wants jobs created.
“Curt Brink and the Korb family’s willingness to provide more affordable units is welcomed, but at this point in the evolution of the Capital East District, I am focused on employment uses,” Rummel said.
A hotel franchise is already aligned with the project, he said, but he is not naming the company until the master plan for the development is released later this month.