Charlestowne Hotels expands in Midwest

Management company Charlestowne Hotels is expanding into the Midwest with the sustainable boutique property Hotel Verdant, which just opened in Racine, Wis. The 80-room adaptive reuse project is located in what was once the Zahn’s Department Store building, dating back to 1898. Vacant for the past 40 years, the Monument Square landmark is downtown’s newest hotel built in decades, preserving and respecting the building’s historical elements while incorporating numerous sustainable, energy-reducing design and operational features.

“Charlestowne specializes in managing adaptive reuse projects and properties situated in secondary markets, making Hotel Verdant a dream hotel for us,” Charlestowne Hotels CEO Kyle Hughey said in a statement. “We understand how to amplify the legacy of beloved establishments, ushering in thoughtful and intentional changes to give historic spaces a second life for the modern era. Racine is a hidden gem tucked between Milwaukee and Chicago, and we’re looking forward to introducing travelers to the city’s splendor and charm through the amenities and experiences at Hotel Verdant.” 

Hotel Verdant is on track to become a LEED Certified boutique hotel. With views of Lake Michigan, the guestrooms and suites were designed to bring the outdoors inside, incorporating hygge, the Danish term to describe coziness, comfort and feelings of wellness and contentment. Large windows were preserved from the original building and the rooms have soft, Scandinavian colors in their accents. 

Through a partnership with the Racine Art Museum—located across the street from the hotel—guestrooms and public areas have nearly 200 works of original local art. The selected works reflect the hotel’s investment in sustainability through thoughtful expression of community and place, and in many instances, the incorporation of natural and recycled materials to repurpose environmental “waste.”

“We understand the positive impact a boutique hotel can have on a downtown and a city-at-large,” said Michael O’Connor, chairman/principal of Dominion Properties, the ownership group behind Hotel Verdant. “Charlestowne’s tailored management style allows us to embrace our role as ‘Racine's Living Room’ by drawing travelers in through thoughtful programming, creative culinary offerings and curated guest services, further transforming us into the home base for discovering the culture and natural beauty of Racine, Wisconsin.”