Proposed hotel for downtown Kaukauna. Architect’s rendering

KAUKAUNA — A proposal to build a hotel in downtown Kaukauna has been discussed for years, but this week a plan took an important step forward with a project that also includes apartments.

The Kaukauna Plan Commission on Thursday approved a preliminary design plan for the project that would include a 67-unit, 3-story hotel along with a 101-unit, five-story apartment complex.

The project has a number of approval steps to go through before a final vote by the city council that could some some time in July.

That includes a public hearing scheduled for June 3. More information on the public hearing is online here: www.cityofkaukauna.com/publicinspection

The project is planned for the former Gustman’s dealership near the intersection of Lawe Street and Wisconsin.

Thursday’s meeting reviewed the preliminary site plan, including the general footprint of where buildings would be located, traffic flow, driveway access and a preliminary look at façade treatments on both buildings, as well as floor plans.

The majority of the parking spaces for the apartment tenants — 98 of the 135 — will be underground, with access off of Wisconsin Avenue through a driveway directly into the underground parking. Most of the apartment traffic will be routed through the controlled intersection at Wisconsin and Lawe. 

Staff asked the developer for a revised hotel façade that incorporates masonry features into the architecture.

Since much of downtown features 19th century architecture with strong masonry elements, staff felt that a façade incorporating those elements would be a better architectural fit for the downtown and gives a higher end aesthetic. 

The public hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m., June 3, 2021, at the City of Kaukauna Municipal Services Building at 144 W. 2nd Street, Kaukauna.

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