WEDC investment to help fund six-room hotel project
CAMBRIDGE, WI. MAY 11, 2022 – The Village of Cambridge is receiving a $72,700 state grant to help turn a blighted Main Street building into a boutique hotel.
The Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support improvements to fire protection, plumbing, heating, cooling and more, all of which will make the building more hospitable for guests. Cambridge Inn on Main will offer five standard rooms and one three-room suite.
“This hotel could be a game-changer for the Village of Cambridge,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “WEDC is ecstatic to be involved in a project with the potential for such economic and cultural impact on the Cambridge community.”
“It’s been wonderful to have these resources for the owners to be able to do this project,” said Lisa Moen, Cambridge’s village administrator. “This will help spark our main street again and spur redevelopment of these buildings.”
Not only will the Cambridge Inn on Main fill a need for lodging in the village, it will do so in an especially charming way, owner and developer Tony Buonincontro said.
“It’s kind of period-specific. It makes you feel like you’re in the 1920s,” Buonincontro said. “Each room has its unique personality. Each bathroom is fully tiled and accessorized to make it feel like a special, glitzy place.”
Buonincontro and his wife, Mandi, also own Villa Buonincontro, a five-acre wedding venue about five miles away in Fort Atkinson. Several of its summer weddings, along with other nearby wedding venues, will bring guests to the new hotel, as will local events such as Fire Fest, Pottery Fest and Maxwell Street Days.
The need for hotels has emerged due to the recent closure of bed and breakfasts in downtown Cambridge, an area known for arts and pottery. This project is part of Cambridge’s initiative to invest in historic downtown properties.
WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.
From the program’s inception in 2013 to April 2022, WEDC has awarded nearly $34.8 million in CDI Grants to 166 communities for projects expected to generate more than $517 million in capital investments statewide.