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RACINE –  Racine public officials and business leaders were invited to don hardhats on Wednesday afternoon for an early look at the transformation of the former Zahn’s building, 500 Monument Square, into Hotel Verdant.

Milwaukee developer, Dominion Properties, is reconstructing the four-story, 1920s-era department store building into an 80-room boutique hotel. First launched in 2019, the project was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But work resumed in February of this year and the hotel is currently expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2023.

Racine Mayor Cory Mason, several members of the Racine Common Council and local business and attraction leaders toured three of the building’s floors that will accommodate a restaurant, guest rooms, meeting space and a fitness center.

Come along via these photos.

Hotel Verdant exclusive tour

Hotel Verdant

The former Zahn’s building at 500 Monument Square is getting a new interior but developers will retain its exterior look. Vacant since 1982, the structure has been part of several unsuccessful past redevelopment ventures including a business center, apartments and a children’s museum. “I just can’t overstate what this means. People are thinking about Downtown and Racine again,” said Mayor Cory Mason. – Credit: Paul Holley

Visitors on Wednesday’s construction tour of Hotel Verdant saw the future locations of guest rooms, a mini-theater and a fitness center. Credit: Paul Holley
Vince Micha, a Hotel Verdant project architect, answers questions about the 80-room hotel’s floor plans. Credit: Paul Holley
“We really believe that this will be the heart of this city,” Mike O’Connor, principal at project developer Dominion Properties, told visitors on Wednesday. The use of geothermal heating-cooling, a rainwater collection system and other planned environmentally friendly features are expected to help the redeveloped building earn certification in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ecology-oriented program. Credit: Paul Holley
This is the rainy view of the Racine Art Museum (RAM), Festival Hall and Lake Michigan from a planned hotel suite’s third-floor window. Credit: Paul Holley
Retaining the building’s original window spaces will provide the new Verdant Hotel with ample natural light. Credit: Paul Holley
This artist rendering shows the Hotel Verdant’s planned rooftop bar that will offer views of Monument Square, Lake Michigan and Downtown Racine. Credit: Paul Holley

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...