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Green Bay Mayor says Hotel Northland funding agreement nearing finalization

Hotel Northland in Green Bay, seen April 26, 2017. (WLUK/Amanda Cartwright)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt wants to put an ultimatum on next month's city council agenda: either approve a new senior bank deal for the Hotel Northland or move on from the 93-year-old hotel's current owner.

“You can approve the documents or take some other action to start foreclosure,” said Schmitt.

Schmitt is optimistic the second option won't be necessary. He says hotel owner Keith Harenda reached a funding agreement Tuesday with the Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority and the project's prospective new senior bank, Octagon Finance.

“They've been in the project since day one,” said Schmitt. “They’ve moved up to a senior lender position, and that's where they want to be, but there are some things that have to happen for them to take that position.”

“This is the same stuff we've been hearing from the beginning,” said Tom De Wane, the city council’s president. “It's just that we have a lender, we have the state's interest, but we haven't signed anything yet.”

Both De Wane and Ald. Guy Zima say they want to hear directly from Harenda on the status of the $44 million renovation project.

“They're afraid to even talk to us,” said Zima. “We've been waiting for four months and they've not shown their face in that room.”

“Nobody is afraid to talk to you,” Schmitt told Zima. “They just want to come here with complete information. That's under my direction.”

In January, Harenda said construction work on the hotel was 70 percent complete. However, the work came to a halt after the project's former top bank pulled its $12.8 million in financing.

Both Schmitt and Harenda have said they are confident the hotel will still open this year.

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