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Board of Review denies Lodge Kohler’s assessment objection

Difference in assessed value more than $17 million

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – There’s more than a $17-million difference between what Lodge Kohler has been assessed for and what the law firm representing the development has argued should be its assessed value.

At the village’s Board of Review hearing Wednesday, Aug. 29, board members agreed with assessor Mike Denor, who determined Lodge Kohler, located in the Titletown District across from Lambeau Field on Ridge Road, has an assessed value of $28,656,900.

The objection filed with the board by Kristina E. Somers of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C. sought an assessed value of $11,604,100.

Lodge Kohler, which opened last year, has described itself this summer in a press release as a AAA four-diamond hotel featuring 144 guest rooms outfitted with custom-designed Kohler bathrooms and bedrooms.

The property also includes the Kohler Waters Spa, a top-floor restaurant and bar known as Taverne in the Sky, the indoor/outdoor Leaps & Bounds Café serving breakfast and lunch on the main level and a collection of Green Bay Packers memorabilia.

When asked about how he determined the property’s assessed value to be more than $28 million, of the three possible approaches for making an assessment – income, market and cost – Denor said he used the cost approach related to how much it would cost to develop the property.

Though development cost figures have not been provided from Lodge Kohler, Denor said the assessment was based on building cost data used by Marshall and Swift, a provider of construction and reconstruction cost data in North America, and takes into consideration a replacement cost estimate for the development.

He noted Lodge Kohler is a unique development that would be difficult to find a comparable type of development located next to an NFL stadium, while the property as it is now being used has been in operation for a short period of time and consequently determining its income potential would be difficult at this point.

Denor said Lodge Kohler sought a lower assessment based on the income approach, for which varying figures have been provided to the village on the property’s income potential.

He said a filing by Lodge Kohler puts the value of personal property there – such as furnishings, equipment, etc. – at $5.3 million.

Denor alluded to the possibility of a different assessed value being reached by noting the village wouldn’t agree to the $11,604,100 amount and Lodge Kohler didn’t agree to the $28,656,900 figure.

Following the Board of Review hearing, Denor said Lodge Kohler will be assessed based on the board’s ruling, though that could be challenged by the company in January with a claim of excessive taxes.

The Kohler Co. provided The Press with the following statement regarding the Board of Review’s decision:

“Kohler Co. is disappointed in the decision by the Ashwaubenon Board of Review to uphold the assessment. Our view has always been that we are more than willing to pay our fair share of property taxes. We are reviewing the Board’s action to determine the best path forward. Lodge Kohler is a tremendous asset in Ashwaubenon and contributes to the local community’s growing tax base. We look forward to working with Village leaders to reach a conclusion that reasonably measures this value.”

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