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Holiday Inn Express remodel shows growth of Germantown

Brittany Seemuth, bseemuth@gannett.comPublished 5:36 p.m. CT Dec. 21, 2016 | Updated 3:29 p.m. CT Dec. 23, 2016

Village of Germantown — Plans for expansion at The Holiday Inn Express at W177 N9675 Riversbend Lane in Germantown are moving full steam ahead.

Germantown Village Board President Dean Wolter said the village board received the expansion plans positively, and he noted the growth of the hotel is in line with the growth of the Germantown community itself. Since 2008, the village population has grown by more than 2,000 residents. The biggest changes to the hotel would include an addition of two floors and approximately 130 additional hotel rooms. The village board approved changes to the plan development district on the site during its Monday, Dec. 19, meeting in order for the plans to include an expanded, remote parking lot to accommodate the additional hotel guests.

Chicago-based Odyssey Hotels operates the Germantown Holiday Inn Express; its CEO, Rachit Dhingra, will appear before the plan commission after the new year with his final site plans for approval. Dhingra has also put in a contract to purchase the neighboring nine-hole Riversbend Golf Course, which ran into some financial issues, according to Wolter, so owner Charles Schmit put it up for sale. “He (Dhingra) is not going to maintain it as a golf course," Wolter said. "In fact, he’s not even going to cut it on a regular basis. He won’t have all these obnoxious weeds in there, but he plans to let it go back to nature. He’s not going to knock down the tee boxes or anything like that. He’s going to let it grow."

At one time, Dhingra talked with the Germantown Recreation Department about the possibility of turning the land into a public park. "We (the village) don’t have money to purchase it," Wolter said. "The community behind Riversbend didn’t like the idea of a park; they didn’t want all those people there. They would rather just have nothing there than any type of a park.”

Once the sale of the golf course goes through, work with an engineering group will begin because the land is on a flood plane near the Menomonee River. "He (Dhingra) has to make sure he doesn’t impact the flood plane in that area," Wolter said. "He has to work with all the right entities to do what he wants to do in the right way so it doesn’t impact the river, community itself or flood water.”

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