Real estate developer hopes to acquire Delafield Hotel by June
Hendricks Commercial Properties CEO was Bob Lang's CFO

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

April 18, 2015

DELAFIELD - When Rob Gerbitz drives through downtown Delafield nearly every day, he sees untapped potential in the upscale Delafield Hotel.

Rob Gerbitz, CEO and president of Hendricks Commercial Properties, said his company would like to purchase the Delafield Hotel because of its overall quality, as well as its location in Delafield.

We thought for our company we have the opportunity to take a really good brand and hopefully take it and build it even further, Gerbitz said.

Hendricks Commercial Properties is negotiating to purchase the Delafield Hotel, and Gerbitz hopes that process will be completed by Mays end. Before Hendricks Commercial Properties could close on the sale of the property, its current owners, 616 Hospitality Group, would need to pay off the approximately $4.4 million owes it owes Ixonia Bank, as well as about $113,000 in back taxes.

Prior to being sold to 616 Hospitality Group, the Delafield Hotel was owned by Rock River Property, an affiliate of ISB Community Bank.

Gerbitz is well acquainted with Delafield. He lives about five miles north of the city and drives through the downtown every day, he said. In addition, he was chief operating officer for developer Bob Lang, who built the hotel in 2006 as well as other Colonial-style buildings in downtown Delafield.

All the businesses that are there now and are growing and trying to do better, that makes the base of it, Gerbitz said, adding he would like to maintain and grow that vibrancy.

The success of a boutique hotel starts with its management and how it is overseen, he said. Henderson Commercial Properties owns the Ironworks Hotel in downtown Beloit.

Gerbitz said its vital that a manager is hired who understands how to operate a boutique hotel.

Its a different animal. You need to be at the front desk. You need to meet the guests; you need to know them, he said.

If the acquisition is completed, Gerbitz said, his company plans to spend significant dollars on promotion and marketing to boost the recognition of the Delafield Hotel name.