Cover story: The interview
November 24, 2014 11:47 AM
The recession of 2008 induced a widespread employer mentality of “my employees are lucky to have a job,” according to George Blomgren, culture strategy director at Milwaukee-based The Good Jobs.

However, as the employment climate has improved and a skills gap has pervaded several sectors, the fight for talent has granted top job candidates a new kind of selectivity, Blomgren said.

Read more in the cover story of the new issue of BizTimes Milwaukee.

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HomeGoods store added to Mayfair Collection lineup
November 24, 2014 11:49 AM
A 22,454-square-foot HomeGoods store will be part of the second phase of the Mayfair Collection development in Wauwatosa, project developer HSA Commercial Real Estate announced today.

The Mayfair Collection is a multi-phase, mixed-use development that is being built northeast of U.S. Highway 45 and Burleigh Street in Wauwatosa. The first phase of the project opened earlier this year with tenants that include Nordstrom Rack and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH.

The HomeGoods store is part of the project’s second phase, which is under construction and will be anchored by a 45,150-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store. Plans for the second phase of The Mayfair Collection also include approximately 50,000 square feet of junior anchor retail space, a mix of upscale bars and restaurants (including three from The Bartolotta Restaurants), and a 140-room Hilton Homewood Suites hotel.

HomeGoods is an off-price home furnishings and accessories retailer with more than 400 locations. It will open at the Mayfair Collection in the fall 2015, and it will be the company’s second store in the Milwaukee area. The only HomeGoods location currently open in the area is in West Allis.

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Schroeder passes reins of law firm to Yentz
November 24, 2014 11:52 AM
The Schroeder Group S.C. Attorneys at Law has adopted a new management structure that will transfer operational direction of the Waukesha firm to president and attorney John Yentz from founder Stuart Schroeder, who will remain as a practicing attorney.

Schroeder, who founded TSG in 1998, says his decision to sell his shares back to the firm to facilitate the change was motivated solely by personal reasons.

“This is what happens when grandchildren come into the picture,” Schroeder joked in reflecting upon his decision. “Actually this is the end of a process that began a number of years ago and will allow me to continue practicing law without management responsibilities.”

Yentz, who became TSG’s president in 2003, says the firm will continue to operate under the same guiding service principles.

“Stuart’s role may be different, but nothing’s changed in terms of what’s always made our firm successful,” Yentz said. “Our service philosophy and commitment to advising and providing the right solutions to our clients remains at the heart of everything we do.”

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Newsmaker Luncheon to feature Latino panel
November 24, 2014 11:54 AM
The Milwaukee Press Club will present a Newsmaker Luncheon to provide a forum for Milwaukee's Latino community to speak out about President Barack Obama's plans to take executive action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

The public is invited to attend the event on Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Newsroom Pub in downtown Milwaukee at 137 E. Wells St. The panel of Milwaukee Latino leaders at the Newsmaker Luncheon will include: Griselda Aldrete, executive director of the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee; Ricardo Diaz, executive director of the United Community Center; Darryl Morin, national vice president of the League of United Latin American Citizens; and Joe Rivas, immigration attorney at Hochstatter, McCarthy, Rivas & Runde S.C.

Obama recently announced plans to make as many as 4 million immigrants eligible for temporary protected status. He also will take steps to expand visas for high-tech workers, modify federal immigrant detention procedures and add resources to strengthen border security. Obama plans to provide administrative relief to illegal-immigrant parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, an adult population that reaches an estimated 3.71 million.

Many of those who receive administrative relief also will be eligible to apply for work permits. Obama also plans to expand a 2012 program that has deferred the deportations of nearly 600,000 younger immigrants known as “dreamers” who were brought into the country illegally as children.

Critics of Obama’s plans say he is overreaching his Constitutional authority by bypassing Congress and taking executive action.

To register to attend the Newsmaker Luncheon, visit

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Greater Brookfield Chamber elects board directors
November 24, 2014 11:58 AM
The Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce announced its 2015 board of directors during its 57th annual meeting held on Nov. 19 at the Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield.

Bob Suycott of Willis of Wisconsin in Brookfield is board chair, and Steve Miazga of R.A. Smith National in Brookfield is past board chair.
New to the board are Anthony Calvino of FedEx Smart Post in New Berlin, Matt Geik of G&G Juice Co. (Jamba Juice) in Brookfield, and Allison Quartuccio of Denali Realty in Elm Grove.
Additional board directors include Derek Berube of First Bank Financial Centre in Brookfield; Lynn Braden of Winter, Kloman, Moter & Repp, S.C. in Brookfield; Lori Choinski of Gerald Nell Inc. in Waukesha; Spence Mather of Securant Bank & Trust in Hartland; Tiffany Mitchell-Detvan of Edward Jones Investments in Greenfield; Mark Ostendorf of Residence Inn by Marriott in Brookfield; Jackie Ruppel of Johnson Bank in Brookfield; and Gjeret Stein of Sensible Gurus in Brookfield.
The chamber also recognized Quartuccio as “Chamber Volunteer of the Year” and Judi Murphy of Murphy Associates in Brookfield as “Chamber Champion” during the annual meeting.
The two were honored for “their outstanding contributions to the chamber, its programs and its members,” said Carol White, chamber president and CEO.

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Gitomer: It's Thanksgiving. Give thanks, or say thanks?
November 24, 2014 11:59 AM
It’s Thanksgiving! It’s the coolest holiday of the year to me. I love Thanksgiving. Food, family, you name it. It’s a time to be thankful.

But I want to challenge you on the way that you’re thankful, and I want to give you some things to think about during this holiday season - the kickoff to the holiday season, Thanksgiving. (or is it now Halloween?)

Read more in today’s Small Biz Strategies by Jeffrey Gitomer.

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Biz Blog: Immigration changes will affect employers and employees
November 24, 2014 12:01 PM
President Barack Obama announced sweeping new administrative reforms to the way current immigration laws are enforced. Politics aside, there are a number of changes to the ways these new rules will be administered. Some will occur quickly, but others will take months.

Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by attorney Grant Sovern of Quarles & Brady.

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BizTracker: Wisconsin milk production rises
November 24, 2014 12:02 PM
Milk production in Wisconsin during October totaled 2.34 billion pounds, up 2 percent over the previous October, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Read more in the BizTracker.

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Morning Headlines: Debt claims against American TV mount as company continues wind-down
November 24, 2014 12:05 PM
Companies and individuals have filed $64 million worth of unsecured claims with the now-closed American TV & Appliance, according to a report filed Friday in Dane County Circuit Court.

Read more in today’s Wisconsin Morning Headlines.

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Manufacturing Weekly: SC Johnson reduces greenhouse gas emissions, waste
November 24, 2014 12:06 PM
Since 2000, Racine-based SC Johnson has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from global manufacturing sites by 50.5 percent, as well as reduced global manufacturing waste by 71 percent. Both surpassed the company’s goal of 48 percent and 70 percent by 2016, respectively.

Read more in today’s Manufacturing Weekly.

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Trek to move distribution center from Oconomowoc to Johnson Creek
November 21, 2014 02:44 PM
Waterloo-based Trek Bicycle announced today that it will occupy a 250,000-square-foot industrial building in Johnson Creek that is being built by Brookfield-based Briohn Building Corp.

Trek will move its global distribution center from Oconomowoc to the Johnson Creek building, which will be fully operational by the end of 2015. The new building, located at 425 Resort Dr., will be 50 percent larger than the Oconomowoc facility.

Trek has 60 employees at the Oconomowoc facility and all of them will be offered the opportunity to move over to the Johnson Creek facility.

"We're excited about the expanded capabilities this new facility offers us," said Trek vice president of supply chain Roger Gierhart. "We have always been committed to Wisconsin and this new center is going to help us become more efficient, streamline our warehousing and delivery processes, and gives us space to continue our growth."

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Mixed-use developments proposed for two Milwaukee libraries
November 21, 2014 01:54 PM
The city of Milwaukee received two mixed-use development proposals for its Forest Home Library and three mixed-use development proposals for its Mill Road Library, in response to a request for proposals.

The city wants to see the libraries become part of mixed-use developments similar to The Standard at East Library project on East North Avenue and the Village Square project at 3427 W. Villard Ave., which both have library branches located within apartment buildings.

The public will be invited to review and comment on the development proposals for the Forest Home and Mill Road libraries. Public input meetings will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m. at the Forest Home Library, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave., and on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Mill Road Library, 6431 N. 76th St.

The city received two mixed-use development proposals for the Forest Home Library.

Cardinal Capital Management and Journey House submitted a proposal for a $21 million project to demolish the Dental Associates building at 1135 S. Cesar Chavez Dr. and replace it with a four-story building with a 16,500-square-foot library space and 51 units of affordable housing, including 24 for youth aging out of foster care. Other tenants could include a coffee shop and office space for the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative. The project would seek low income housing tax credits and new markets tax credits. Eppstein Uhen Architects is the design firm for the project.

Gorman & Company, Mitchell Investment Properties and VJS Construction submitted a proposal for a $10.4 million project to renovate the Hills Building at 930 W. Historic Mitchell St. The project would create a 15,000-square-foot library space and 33 units of affordable housing. The project would seek low income housing tax credits, historic preservation tax credits and new markets tax credits.

Click here to see more information about the Forest Home Library development proposals.

The city received three mixed-use development proposals for the Mill Road Library.

Maures Development Group LLC, CommonBond Communities and Engberg Anderson submitted a proposal for a $13.8 million project for a city-owned lot at 7717 W. Good Hope Road, where they want to build a four-story development with a 15,000-square-foot library space, 46 to 82 units of affordable housing and either a 2,500-square-foot commercial space or a larger library space. They plan to seek low income housing tax credits for the project.

Gorman & Company, the Northwest Side CDC and VJS Construction submitted a proposal for a $6 million project at 7717 W. Good Hope Road, where they want to build a development with a 17,000-square-foot library space and a charter school space above the library. The partnership would offer to buy the current Mill Road Library building for use by a public charter school. They plan to seek new markets tax credits for the project.

The City of Milwaukee Housing Authority submitted a proposal for a $17 million project that would be built on the current Mill Road Library site at 6431 N. 76th St. The project would have a 15,500-square-foot library space and 60 affordable housing units in two buildings. Adjacent Health Department buildings at 7630 W. Mill Road would be removed. New space for the Health Department could be part of the project. The project would apply for low income housing tax credits, federal home loan bank funds and housing authority grants.

Click here to see more information about the Mill Road Library development proposals.

City officials have allocated $18 million for library redevelopment projects and plan to spend $4.5 million each for the redevelopment of four libraries: Forest Home, Mill Road, Capitol and Martin Luther King.

In addition the Tippecanoe Library will be renovated, but will remain in the same building.

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Springfield College to move Milwaukee campus to Walker’s Point
November 21, 2014 11:27 AM
Springfield College plans to move its Milwaukee campus from its existing location in downtown Milwaukee to a 22,178-square-foot space in The Timbers Building in The Tannery office complex at 700 W. Virginia St. in the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.

Springfield College’s main campus is in Springfield, Mass., but it also has 10 regional School of Human Services campuses, including one in Milwaukee. That campus is currently located in the Commerce Building at 744 N. 4th St. in downtown Milwaukee.

Jackson Street Management LLC plans to convert the Commerce Building, which is located across the street from the Wisconsin Center, into a hotel.

Springfield College recently signed a lease to occupy space on the fifth floor of the seven-floor Timbers Building, the largest building in The Tannery complex.

“(The space for Springfield College is) being built out right now,” said Ned Purtell of RFP Commercial. Purtell and Scott Revolinski of RFP brokered the deal for the The Tannery, most of which (excluding the Aurora Health Care headquarters building) was recently sold to Madison-based Sara Investment Real Estate for nearly $16.8 million.
Steve Pape of Greywolf Partners brokered the lease for Springfield College.

The lease brings occupancy of The Timbers building to well over 90 percent and the entire tannery complex has an occupancy rate of about 90 percent, Purtell said.

“(The Tannery is) doing very well,” he said. “I think more and more tenants want to be downtown or near downtown. That’s what’s driving it.”

The Tannery appeals to office tenants looking for “cool space” in old industrial buildings that have been converted to office space, similar to office buildings in the Historic Third Ward and at Schlitz Park, Purtell said. Those spaces appeal to tenants that are, “ trying to build office space to attract the young talent,” he said. “Going forward, all of those types of buildings are going to do well.”

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Sears to close Sheboygan Product Rebuild Center
November 21, 2014 11:29 AM
Sears Holdings Corp. will close its Sheboygan Product Rebuild Center and lay off about 30 employees in February, according to a WARN notice filed recently with the state.

The facility, located at 3353 Kohler Memorial Drive, will close on or about Feb. 22. The affected employee titles include sales support, backroom associates, consultative sales associates and merchandise-pricing associates, among others.

The move is the latest in a series of closures Sears has announced recently. The Sears store and Sears Auto Center at Memorial Mall in Sheboygan will also close in February, eliminating 31 positions.

The company will also close its store and Auto Center at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale and the Glendale Product Rebuild Center, laying off a total of 153 employees, beginning Dec. 7.

And Sears this year also closed its store at Regency Mall in Racine.

These are just some of several stores Sears is closing as the company tries to turn around years of struggle. Sears reported a net loss of $573 million in the second quarter.

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BizTracker: State’s unemployment rate falls to 5.4 percent
November 21, 2014 11:30 AM
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in October and the state added 4,000 private sector jobs during the month, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest report from the state Department of Workforce Development.

Read more in the BizTracker, a new service from BizTimes tracking business data across the state.

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