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Kimpton Featured in Hotel Business Design Magazine, Wycklendt Interviewed

The magazine recently featured the FirstPathway Partners project, outlining the hotel’s carefully-selected design elements, even down to how the name of the hotel was born.

Situated in a neighborhood thriving with arts, entertainment, boutiques, and restaurants, the hotel is surprisingly a first for the Historic Third Ward. New York-based design firm, Warren Red, who was selected to lead the hotel design, believes it was important to create a design that not only fit into the composition of the neighborhood and captured the spirit of Milwaukee, but that also paid respect to Milwaukee’s “next chapter”.

Red was successful in doing this by integrating steel panels and raw concrete slabs, all while maintaining a sense of warmth and modernity. An extravagant 20-ft.-long chandelier is featured in the lobby, complete with modern fireplaces and plush seating. The second floor of the hotel transitions to Venetian plaster, artfully completed by a local specialist. Custom carpets, which intentionally fade from a deep red to a distressed, textured pattern, are used throughout the ballroom.

Dan Wycklendt, Executive Vice President of FirstPathway Partners, discussed the importance of the hotel being a seamless addition to the area. “We wanted something that would fit into this historic area of the city and become part of the neighborhood… People have actually questioned if it was a conversion of an existing historical building,” he said. “We wanted it to have a high-end residential feel and still fit into the historic district. It also had to be complementary to the other buildings in the neighborhood, not just a copy of what existed around it. We wanted the neighborhood to feel as though we were a partner for them, a building they could use. When the guests visit, we wanted them to feel as though they were a part of the neighborhood, a part of the history of the Third Ward.”

The hotel features a year-round rooftop bar, The Outsider; 24-hour fitness center; an onsite restaurant, Tre Rivali, spearheaded by celebrity Chef, Heather Terhune; 6,300 sq. ft. of event space; and a spa.

Equally taxing was the process of selecting a name for the hotel. “[We] came upon the name The Journeyman by way of exploring a kind of muse: a wandering, highly skilled craftsman who had settled in Milwaukee to set up shop [as well as] their home. And so Warren Red designed with a very intimate, engaged working relationship with all of their fabricators and contractors, working the material to the best of its nature. Much inspiration came from two key positions: One, the design should, in its atmosphere and feeling, feel very much part of Milwaukee’s Third Ward, and two, the design should also be part of Milwaukee’s next chapter, setting the tone for what’s next in hospitality in the city,” he said.

The success of this EB-5 project has been staggering, having been featured in a dozen articles.  Wycklendt commented, “Guest reaction has been fantastic so far… People feel this hotel is what was missing in the local market. The hotel feels comfortable, not like you are staying in a hotel. People are willing to pay more for an experience like that; it is not just another commodity.”

Read the full feature here.

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