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First Hospitality Hosts “Topping Off” Event For Construction Of Loyalty Building

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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First Hospitality Group, Inc. (FHG) announced today the success of their “topping off” party for the Loyalty Building in Milwaukee, Wisc. The event, held on Tuesday, May 15, served as a celebration for ongoing renovations of the historic Loyalty Building into the new 128-room Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Hotel. First Hospitality Group, Inc. President and COO Robert Habeeb made the announcement.

The event brought together local community leaders and dignitaries for a reception and guided tours throughout the building, revealing some of the original workings and its beautiful atrium. Speeches were given by key project leaders including, Anna-Marie Opgenorth, executive director at Historic Milwaukee, Judy Rosynek, director of sales for the Hilton Garden Inn in Milwaukee, Wisc., and Stephen Schwartz, CEO at First Hospitality Group, Inc.

During the event, guests enjoyed lunch in the Grain Exchange room, provided by Bartolotta Catering, complete with a replica cake of the building. A ceremonious rising of the American and Hilton Garden Inn brand flags took place in the Loyalty Building, along with the hotel’s investors each hammering a nail to signify the renovations being underway. Beautiful historic costumes, representing attire of the late 1880s  when the Loyalty Building was constructed  were on display as well as a backdrop of the building’s main entrance, made available to guests for commemorative photos.

The transformation of the Loyalty Building, one of the city’s architectural gems and the original headquarters of Northwestern Mutual Life circa 1886, began in late 2011. A Milwaukee and Wisconsin Landmark, as well as being featured on the National Register of Historic Places, the redevelopment of the property will create a positive impact on the local economy and job creation, and increase downtown foot traffic. The building features a magnificent four-story atrium, original granite and limestone floors and façades, and one of the best-preserved and most celebrated 19th century commercial interiors in the state.

Construction for the new Hilton Garden Inn is scheduled for completion this fall. First Hospitality Group, Inc. will own and operate the property. The hotel is expected to create 75 jobs. This is First Hospitality Group, Inc.’s fifth adaptive reuse project. Others include the Hilton Garden Inn, Indianapolis, Ind.; Hampton Inn Majestic, Chicago, Ill.; Hyatt Place, Des Moines, Iowa; and the Residence Inn, Omaha, Neb., which is currently under renovation.

“The event celebrated the significance of the Loyalty Building and that it will remain as an important piece of the historic fabric Milwaukee,” said Habeeb. “We want to thank everyone who contributed to such a fantastic event and for the local community for embracing this project. We’re proud of this building—and we look forward to its grand opening this fall.”

In addition to the Hilton Garden Inn, the Loyalty Building will include approximately 4,500 square feet of ground floor retail space, which is anticipated to include innovative food and beverage outlets. The Hilton Garden Inn will work in concert with the iconic Grain Exchange Room operated by Bartolotta Restaurants located in the neighboring Mackie Building. The Mackie Building, also on the National Historic Register, is owned by an affiliate of First MKD, LLC, and is currently in process of its own restoration. Additional improvements are scheduled for the Mackie Building, which will have more than 20,000 square feet of renovated office space available for lease.

First Hospitality Group, Inc.
First Hospitality Group, Inc. is a national, experienced, and established hospitality management, and development company serving the investment and real estate industries. Since 1985, FHG has been an award-winning pioneer in the hospitality industry. FHG has successfully developed, marketed and managed over 16 brands and 50 properties throughout the Midwest. Visit www.fhginc.com.

About Hilton Garden Inn
Hilton Garden Inn is the award-winning, upscale, yet affordable hotel brand that continually strives to ensure today's busy travelers have everything they need to be most productive on the road -- from our oh-so-comfortable Garden Sleep System® bed to complimentary wired and Wi-Fi Internet access in all guestrooms. So whether on the road for personal or business reasons, travelers can count on the brand to support them on their road to success. Log on to www.hgimediacenter.com or visit www.hgi.com for more information. Connect with Hilton Garden Inn at www.facebook.com/hiltongardeninn, www.twitter.com/HGI_INNsider and the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee at http://www.facebook.com/HGIMilwaukeeDowntown. To view the Hilton Garden Inn temporary website go to www.hiltongardeninnmilwaukeedowntown.com.

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