The current building was built in the 1970's by Hilton and has seen several different owners in the past 40 years. Recently, the property fell in to disrepair and was eventually closed after an auction put it back in the hands of the original bank.
Pablo Properties, led by local JAMF Software owner Zach Halmstad, says, "This property was the center of downtown when I was growing up. We went there for holiday meals and special events. We've seen it deteriorate over the last 10 years to the spot that businesses refuse to house their visitors there," and he hopes to change that.
Plans include reducing the number of rooms to between 80-90 to accommodate suites and long-term stay rooms, renovation of the existing convention center, and the addition of a coffee shop and new restaurant. "We have an incredible amount of shared space in the building, but it is not well maintained and is poorly utilized. We have plans to redesign the entire first floor and house a restaurant that focuses on great, locally sourced food," Halmstad said.
With the renovations happening at the former Green Tree Inn, and a revitalized meeting space in the convention center at this new property the downtown may once more return to a viable option for meeting planners. "We keep track of groups that want to come to Eau Claire with a specific request for a downtown property. For the past few years we have been unable to accommodate them at a quality property," says Linda John, Executive Director of Visit Eau Claire, "this has translated to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lost potential business for Eau Claire. This announcement by Pablo Properties has huge economic impact potential for Eau Claire, while also serving the local community that has had to look elsewhere for reliable meeting space."
So far, a name for the new hotel has not been chosen. Pablo is currently exploring franchise options and the feasibility of opening as an independent hotel.
Market & Johnson will serve as the general contractor, and has been given an aggressive timeline by Pablo Properties. The hotel will be reopened before the end of 2014.
Pablo Properties is led by Zach Halmstad. Pablo is focused on improving Eau Claire's downtown area by building a new class A office space for JAMF Software, as well as the renovation of existing properties. Pablo is one of five investors on the former Green Tree Inn. The two hotel properties will work together in any way possible to find efficiencies between them.
For more information, contact Pablo Properties at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Eau Claire is sending this press release courtesy of Pablo Properties. Visit Eau Claire effectively markets the Eau Claire area as a destination for conventions, group tour, and leisure markets; to promote regional economic growth; to enhance the area's overall identity and image; to sell fun, promote fun, and most importantly - Have FUN!