The City of Lancaster is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help support the development of a Sleep Inn & Suites, a more-than-$5 million project expected to be completed by next spring.
The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will help fund the first newly constructed hotel in Lancaster in the past 30 years. The city has partnered with Lancaster Hotel Development LLC (LHD) to construct the 54-room hotel.
“One of the top priorities of WEDC is to promote substantive local development by helping communities enhance their business districts and establish firm foundations for ongoing economic growth,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development corporation. “This hotel development will help support the need for multiple businesses to hold events, bring more visitors to Lancaster, and act as a catalyst for future regional development.”
“Getting a hotel built in a small rural community is a lot different than in Madison or Milwaukee”, said City Administrator Carlson. “Studies show demand, but the only way to actually build the hotel is with the significant participation of local investors, committing their dollars back to their community. Key to this is WEDC partnering with the local residents and business owners to make it a success.”
About 10 private investors are financing the more than $5 million project on the 1.5-acre site at 1550 S. Madison St. along U.S. 61. LHD and the city signed a development agreement to sell the land to the developers for $1 and will provide up to $943,250 using funds generated by property taxes from the new hotel.
“The City is excited to partner with WEDC and the Hotel Investors in making this project happen, said Mayor David Varman. “We have invested several years in working on the project and can’t wait for the grand opening next spring.”
The city conducted a hotel study three years ago as part of its effort to attract investors willing to develop a mid to mid-high-level hotel to serve the businesses in and around Lancaster. After identifying LHD as investors, they completed a second hotel study last year which confirmed the results of the first study.
The studies concluded that the city could support new lodging developments and stated that the majority of every economic and demographic statistic of the area supports a growth environment that relies in part by out-of-town visitors. Finally, the report concluded that all of Grant County is under-served by the lodging industry and Lancaster possesses a central location that may allow a development to draw guests from a larger radius.
“Lancaster is growing! Thank you to all of the investors who have provided funds to develop the Sleep Inn & Suites,” Sen. Howard Marklein said. “Investments like these help our communities to grow, seize new opportunities and welcome visitors. I am excited for the future of southwest Wisconsin.”
“We were happy to help play a small role in making this project a reality. It was really all of the local investors who stepped up to make this project happen that deserve the majority of the credit. We sincerely appreciate WEDC for recognizing the projects value to the Lancaster Community,” said Rep. Travis Tranel
WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.
Since the program’s inception in 2013, WEDC has awarded more than $30 million in Community Development Investment Grants to over 100 communities for projects expected to generate more than $500 million in capital investments statewide.