New Berlin shopping center to be sold at auction
August 20, 2014 02:42 PM
Moorland Commons, a 126,561-square-foot shopping center located northeast of Moorland and Beloit roads in New Berlin, will be sold in an online auction at, according to Mid-America Real Estate Group, which represents the property owner.

Tenants in Moorland Commons, built in 2002, include OfficeMax, Michaels, Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway, ATI Physical Therapy, GNC, Great Clips and U.S. Cellular.

“The property provides the opportunity to invest in a community shopping center anchored by category-leading retailers,” said Dan Rosenfeld, principal at Mid-America Real Estate.

Th minimum opening bid for the property is $4 million, with the auction starting on October 6.

The shopping center’s anchor Target store is separately owned and will not be available in the auction sale.

The shopping center will be 95 percent leased upon the successful completion of a lease for Dunham’s Sports, which will take occupancy of the last remaining anchor space and will occupy 48,734 square feet at Moorland Commons.

In 2012, the shopping center was the subject of a mortgage foreclosure whereby a Waukesha County judge ruled that the original owner, Madison-based EJP Moorland Commons LLC, was in default of $21.3 million on a 2005 mortgage. It was sold at auction to JPMCC 2005 – CIBC13 Beloit Road LLC, in early 2013.

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Lakefront Brewery plans expansion near its Commerce Street HQ
August 20, 2014 02:05 PM
Milwaukee-based craft brewer Lakefront Brewery Inc. announced today that it plans to expand with a facility at 1890 N. Commerce St. in Milwaukee.

The brewery announced that it has an accepted offer to buy the vacant site, which was formerly slated for the second phase of The Edge condo development. The site is located on the east side of the Holton Street Bridge, adjacent to the existing Lakefront Brewery headquarters facility at 1872 N. Commerce St.

Last year Lakefront Brewery announced plans to build a second brewery in the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee, but later dropped those plans.

Now, Lakefront Brewery Owner Russ Klisch said the company’s plans are to purchase the vacant Commerce Street site and build on it as soon as it is financially feasible for the brewery. The brewery plans to relocate its packaging lines and additional fermentation tanks to the new facility. The brew house would retain all of its existing fermentation tanks and would use the space vacated by packaging for barrel aging.

The expansion is being driven by increased demand, the company says. Lakefront now brews 40,000 barrels per year, with production having nearly doubled in the past two years alone. The second brewing location will provide Lakefront with the ability to expand its production and distribution and at capacity would result in the creation of an additional 40 full-time jobs.

The company has also begun expanding its warehouse facilities. Last week, Lakefront began work on an addition to its cold storage facility at 218 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, which could add as many as 30 jobs, including 10 full-time jobs.

“We are taking a very measured approach to expansion, and acquiring this land is an initial step,” said Klisch. “However, the craft beer market just continues to grow and we need to expand production or we won’t be able to keep up with demand.”

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WCTC receives $1 million donation for Integrated Manufacturing Center
August 20, 2014 12:30 PM
Pewaukee-based Waukesha County Technical College today announced an anonymous donor has pledged $1 million toward its new Integrated Manufacturing Center.

The $1 million, however, is contingent on the college raising another $2 million in private funds for the project. It has so far raised about $200,000.

The total project cost for the IMC is expected to be $4.5 million. A state capital spending limit means WCTC can spend a maximum of $1.5 million of its funds on a building expansion product, unless the additional private funds are available as cash on hand when it seeks approval, said Kaylen Betzig, interim president of WCTC.

Since WCTC plans to seek approval for the project at the bi-monthly Wisconsin Technical College System Board meeting on Sept. 8, it would need to raise the additional funds in about two weeks, Betzig said.

“I am very hopeful, I am very positive, and we’re doing everything we can,” she said. “We’re doing this not just for us to build a building. We’re doing this so we can help the manufacturers of Waukesha County and provide them with the skilled workforce that they’ve been asking for.”

The college began planning the IMC addition in January to meet growing demand for manufacturing courses and skilled workers. The WCTC Foundation has been fundraising in cooperation with the Waukesha County Business Alliance.

“It really for us is a matter of capacity,” she said. “I can offer all the sections I want, but I have to put five welders in one welding booth.”

The 24,000-square-foot Integrated Manufacturing Center would include be connected to the Industrial Building on campus, and house several School of Applied Technologies programs, including automated systems, electronics, welding, computer and numerical control, engineering, industrial machine technician, robotics and industrial maintenance.

The proposed building includes two Automated Systems Technology labs, an integrated manufacturing and engineering lab, an industrial maintenance technician lab, two electronics labs, an electronics fabrication lab, a technology lab, an engineering lecture hall, an AST classroom, two engineering classrooms and two conference rooms.

“Having targeted and cooperative experiences through the IMC will develop students’ skills to a higher level and prepare them for the types of systems they will use in the region’s manufacturing companies,” said Suzanne Kelley, president of the Waukesha County Business Alliance. “We’re thrilled to see such strong private-sector support for this project, as we think it will be a huge win for the region, and will only further enhance WCTC’s reputation for producing job-ready grads with the technical skills needed to support our manufacturers.”

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Milwaukee Electric Tool parent reports record sales
August 20, 2014 12:33 PM
Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd., the parent company of Brookfield-based Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., today reported record sales, gross margin and profit for the first half of the year.

Net profit attributable to shareholders was $136 million, up 15.9 percent from $118 million in the first half of 2013. Earnings were 7 cents per share, up from 6 cents per share in the same period last year.

Sales were $2.25 billion, up 10.2 percent from $2 billion in the first half of 2013.

The sales growth is the result of several successful product launches and targeted geographic expansion, Techtronic said.

The power equipment segment, which includes Milwaukee Electric Tool’s products, reported $1.7 billion in sales, up 10.5 percent over the first half of 2013. The company attributed the increase to organic growth in the professional and DIY power tool segments.

Milwaukee Electric Tool, which manufactures power tools, hand tools, instruments and accessories, has about 450 employees at its U.S. corporate headquarters at 13135 W. Lisbon Road in Brookfield. Within the past three years, the company has more than doubled its employee base at its Brookfield facilities, and in June completed the acquisition of Mukwonago-based measurement tool manufacturer Empire Level Mfg. Corp.

"New product introductions, geographic expansion and a relentless focus on operational efficiency propelled our continued outstanding performance,” said Joseph Galli, chief executive officer of TTI. “A highlight of our strong first half result was the 100 basis point improvement in gross margin increasing from 34% last year to 35% this year, through new products introduction and aggressive productivity gains across our supply chain network."

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BizTimes Media seeking Nonprofit Excellence Awards nominations
August 20, 2014 12:35 PM
What does philanthropy look like at your company? How has your workplace made a difference in southeastern Wisconsin?

BizTimes Media will honor top corporate citizens of the region through the inaugural BizTimes Media Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The awards program is designed to salute the work of for-profit organizations, executives and professionals who donate their time, talent and treasure to community causes.

Award winners will be celebrated during a Nov. 4 breakfast and ceremony at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Events Center in Milwaukee.

Awards will also be distributed to nonprofit organizations and leaders making the region a better place to live, work and place.
BizTimes invites southeastern Wisconsin’s business and nonprofit communities to nominate deserving individuals, companies and organizations for its Nonprofit Excellence Awards.
Self-nominations on both the corporate and nonprofit side will be accepted. Award nominations, submitted through a form, are due by Friday, Aug. 29. Corporate citizens and nonprofits may be nominated for multiple categories. Nominators must complete a new form for each category.

BizTimes encourages nominators of for-profit companies to submit their entries as soon as possible. The Nonprofit Excellence Awards’ corporate citizen awards feature five categories: Corporate Citizen of the Year, Next Generation Leadership, In-Kind Supporter, Corporate Volunteer of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement.

The program’s nonprofit awards feature four categories: Nonprofit (organization) of the year, Nonprofit Collaboration of the year award, Nonprofit Executive of the Year and Social Enterprise.

Nonprofit nominees must be tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations based in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth or Sheboygan counties. Chapters or affiliate national organizations may be nominated if they are locally managed.

For detailed descriptions of each award, visit

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Nordstrom buys site for its Mayfair Mall store for $1.17 million
August 20, 2014 12:37 PM
Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. recently purchased the site at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa where it is building a new department store.

Read more in today’s Real Estate Weekly.

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County to review O'Donnell Park sale plans Sept. 10
August 20, 2014 12:38 PM
The Milwaukee County Board's Parks, Energy and Environment Committee and the Economic and Community Development Committee will hold a joint public hearing regarding the proposed sale of O'Donnell Park to Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at the Downtown Transit Center Harbor Lights Room, 909 E. Michigan St. in Milwaukee.

Teig Whaley-Smith, director of economic development, will give a brief description of the proposal and and Comptroller Scott Manske will give a report, after which the committees will hear public comments.

"This joint night hearing is designed to give residents the opportunity to express themselves on the future of O'Donnell Park, the lakefront and economic development in Milwaukee County," said Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.

Northwestern Mutual has proposed purchasing the parking structure for $12.7 million. The O’Donnell Park parking structure is owned by Milwaukee County. It is located across the street from the Northwestern Mutual corporate headquarters campus, where the the company is preparing to build a new 32-story, $450 million office tower. The company plans to add 1,900 jobs in the new building over a period of several years, and wants to buy the O’Donnell Park parking structure to provide additional parking spaces for its employees. The structure has 1,332 parking spaces.

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From the issue: Carroll to accept eighth graders into health disciplines
August 20, 2014 03:45 PM
A select group of eighth graders from Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School will be accepted into Carroll University early next year to prepare for careers in health and medical sciences.

Read more in the new issue of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine.

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: Wisconsin needs to pay it forward like Silicon Valley
August 20, 2014 12:40 PM
Successful entrepreneurs in Wisconsin need to “pay it forward,” like they do in Silicon Valley.

That was a big part of the message for Wisconsin leaders from Greg Robinson, a transplant to the Badger state from Silicon Valley, where he spent a dozen years on both a startup and managing a fund. He was recruited here to run 4490 Ventures, a $30 million fund launched in 2013 to invest statewide in software companies.

Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by John Torinus, chairman of Serigraph Inc. in West Bend.

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Morning Headlines: Waupaca Foundry sold to Japanese metals producer for $1.3 billion
August 20, 2014 12:41 PM
KPS Capital Partners announced Tuesday it will sell Waupaca Foundry Inc., the world's largest producer of ductile iron and gray iron castings, to Japanese metals producer Hitachi Metals Ltd. for $1.3 billion.

Read more in today’s Wisconsin Morning Headlines.

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Real Estate Weekly: Quad/Graphics leases former American warehouse in Pewaukee
August 20, 2014 12:42 PM
Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. has leased one of two warehouses in Pewaukee that were formerly occupied by American TV & Appliance, which went out of business earlier this year.

Read more in today’s Real Estate Weekly.

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Potawatomi chooses Imperial for laundry, company expands
August 19, 2014 11:48 AM
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has chosen Racine-based Imperial Laundry Services to launder the linens from its new 19-story hotel, which opened Monday.

The contract with Potawatomi allowed Imperial to hire 20 new employees and purchase about $1 million in new equipment to meet the demand.

Imperial will wash about 1.5 million pounds of linen from the 381-room hotel each year, making it one of the laundry service’s largest hotel accounts. The company works with several hotels and hospitals in the area.

“After touring the new Potawatomi hotel, it was apparent to us that the rooms, amenities and service to be offered would rival or exceed those of other luxury hotels,” said Gregg Salomone, president of ILS. “With that in mind, we are extremely proud to have been chosen as the vendor for the processing of guest room linen.”

“This is a great example of the impact Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is making on the economy of southeastern Wisconsin,” said Mike Goodrich, general manager of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. “The size and scope of our business has translated into success for our vendors and the businesses they work with, as well.”

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Plymouth Tube to close East Troy mill
August 19, 2014 11:52 AM
Plymouth Tube Co. plans to close one of its East Troy mills and lay off 34 employees, according to a WARN notice filed with the state Monday.

Warrenville, Ill.-based Plymouth Tube, which manufactures specialty tubing and extruded shapes, plans to discontinue its manufacturing process at the mill, which is located at 2061 Young St. in East Troy. The company has 10 other mills, including a second East Troy mill at 2056 Young St.

The positions will be eliminated in phases beginning on October 13, the filing says. Six of the employees are in salaried positions, while 28 are in hourly positions represented by United Steel Workers, Local 7076.

Among the eliminated job titles are: administrative manager, administrative support, maintenance tech, master scheduler/materials coordinator, production tech, safety and environment coordinator, senior process engineer, value stream manager and weld technician.

The company plans to conduct layoffs and pay all earned wages and agreed upon benefits as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the company.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will offer rapid response services in cooperation with the Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.

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Brewers form ‘Creative Council’ of young professionals
August 19, 2014 12:13 PM
The Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club has formed a “Brewers Creative Council” from a group of young area professionals, who will help the organization evaluate and develop promotional and marketing strategies.

The group will target a younger demographic of Brewers fans and potential Brewers fans, the organization said.

Caitlin Moyer, director of new media for the Brewers, will lead the council, which will meet regularly. Members are: Josh Derouin, manager of marketing systems at PKWARE; Joel Tilleson, associate attorney at Falk Legal Group; Kathryn Reinardy, digital communications manager at Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Andy Nelson, public relations director at Pabst Theater Group; Lauren Hill, director of telefund at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; David Cohn, director of member services and communications at the Wisconsin State Golf Association; Tarik Moody, host at 88Nine RadioMilwaukee; and Arthur Ircink, owner/executive producer at Wisconsin Foodie.

“The best ideas sometimes come from outside sources,” said Rick Schlesinger, chief operating officer for the Brewers. “The Brewers Creative Council will give us the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of fans as we continue to enhance the Miller Park experience.”

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: Wisconsin manufacturers are bullish
August 19, 2014 12:15 PM
More than three-fourths of the manufacturing executives responding to The Paranet Group's Mid-Year Survey are forecasting increases in sales at their companies, amplifying several other recent indicators that the economic recovery is gaining steam.

Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Executive Editor Steve Jagler.

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