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Plans submitted for 37-story apartment tower downtown
September 22, 2014 11:29 AM
Chicago-based developer Carroll Properties Inc. has submitted plans for a 37-story apartment tower that it wants to build at the northeast corner of Van Buren Street and Kilbourn Avenue in downtown Milwaukee. The plans will be reviewed by the City's Plan Commission on Monday, Sept. 29.

Carroll announced plans for the building earlier this year, but the plans submitted to the city for review provide new details, including more floors than originally anticipated, and renderings of what the building would look like.

Chicago-based FitzGerald Associates is the architect for the project.

The 37-story building would have 224 to 275 luxury apartments, 10,104 square feet of first floor retail space and numerous amenities including: a game room, media center, fitness center, sport lounge, sport court, a dog wash area and a bike storage area, according to the plans submitted to the city.

The site was formerly occupied by an Edwardo’s restaurant and is where New Land Enterprises LLP and later developers Tim Gokhman and Ann Shuk had planned to build a high-rise apartment development called Bookends. But the Bookends project never moved forward.

The Carroll Properties project is one of three luxury apartment towers that developers are planning in downtown Milwaukee.

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Marquette land deal includes two Zilber buildings
September 22, 2014 12:16 PM
Marquette University’s seven-acre campus expansion is being fueled by two transactions totaling about $9 million.

The expansion, which university president Michael Lovell, Ph.D., announced during his inauguration address on Friday, will extend the university’s footprint on its eastern border in the 800 block of West Michigan Street in downtown Milwaukee.

The university’s new property, directly south of Straz Tower residence hall at 915 W. Wisconsin Ave., encompasses a 132,334-square-foot office building owned by Zilber Property Group. The building is located at 801-03 W. Michigan St. in downtown Milwaukee. UMB Fund Services recently vacated 70,000 square feet of space at 803 W. Michigan St. when it moved to the Schlitz Park complex.

The property Marquette is purchasing from Zilber Property Group also includes a 7,200-square-foot building at 521 N. 8th St. occupied by Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.

The two buildings cover about 1.6 acres.

Additionally, Marquette is buying a vacant 4.6-acre site from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. That site, south of Michigan Street and west of North James Lovell Street, was previously part of the Marquette Interchange.

Marquette has not yet decided how it will use its new space, said university spokesman Brian Dorrington.

Lovell plans to have more detailed discussions with the campus community “to determine what the best uses are,” Dorrington said.

Lovell called the purchases a “once in a generation opportunity” for Marquette and Milwaukee.

Universities, particularly those in urban settings, don’t often have real estate opportunities of this magnitude, Dorrington said.

The acreage will help Marquette “with the long-term growth of the campus,” he said.

Marquette expects to close on the sales later this month, but that could change, according to Dorrington.

The university’s expansion was one of several key priorities Lovell called out during his inauguration on Friday. The new president is also charting plans to introduce a university presence at the Global Water Center in the Walker’s Point neighborhood as well as at Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa.

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BizTimes accepting Health Care Heroes nominations
September 22, 2014 11:33 AM
BizTimes Media is accepting nominations for itsHealth Care Heroes Awards, which honor individuals and organizations that are making a significant impact on the quality of health care in our area.

The inspirational program recognizes excellence, promotes innovation, encourages emulation of successful programs, educates the general public and contributes to the enhancement of the value and quality of health care.

BizTimes is accepting nominations for the following categories:


  • Advancements in Health Care: Honors a company or individual primarily responsible for a scientific discovery or for the development of a new medical product or procedure.
  • Behavioral Health: Honors an individual or organization for its leadership, commitment and care on behavioral health issues.
  • Community Service: Honors an individual or an organization for leadership in focusing on solving a particular health care issue.
  • Corporate Achievement in Health Care: Honors a company that has successfully implemented an innovative health care product, process or service.
  • Executive Leadership: Honors a senior-level individual who demonstrates strong skills in leading his or her organization in quality care, collaboration and financial management.
  • First Responder: Honors a person who arrived on the scene of a health care emergency, utilizing his or her training to treat and comfort the patient in need.
  • Health Care Staff: Honors an individual who has made a significant difference in the wellbeing of others.
  • Nurse: Honors an individual from the nursing field whose performance on the job is considered exemplary by patients, peers and physicians.
  • Physician: Honors a physician whose performance on the job is considered exemplary by patients and peers.
  • Volunteer: Honors an individual who has done volunteer work for the good of one or more people or the entire community.
Nominations will be judged on documented accomplishments, and winners will be notified in early November. All Health Care Heroes Award winners will be profiled in the print and online editions of BizTimes Milwaukee. The winners will be saluted at a breakfast on Friday, Dec. 19, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Milwaukee-West in Wauwatosa.

The deadline for nominations is Oct. 17. To nominate a Health Care Hero, click here.

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Sheboygan County manufacturer to expand
September 22, 2014 12:09 PM
Richco Structures will expand its Haven manufacturing facility and parent company Richardson Industries will move its headquarters to a downtown Sheboygan Falls building.

Richco plans to add 12,000 square feet to its existing 60,000-square-foot building at W989 County Road FF in Haven in Sheboygan County. Richco will also add a $300,000 saw system at the facility, where the company manufactures both residential and industrial trusses, as well as wall and floor panels. The total expansion cost is $1 million, said Gary Kane, chief executive officer of Richardson Industries.

The expansion will help Richco keep up with demand from the recovering construction industry, Kane said. Production is up 30 percent over a year ago, mainly due to increased market share driven by short lead times.

“It’ll just increase our ability to produce. We’re almost at our max right now,” Kane said.

Richardson Industries and Richardson Kitchen & Bath will move their operations into a 9,000-square-foot building at 202 Pine St. in downtown Sheboygan Falls. The first floor already houses Richardson’s Furniture Emporium, and the Kitchen & Bath division will use part of the space for a showroom. Richardson Industries will move its corporate headquarters from 635 Old County Highway PP into the second floor of the Pine Street building.

“It helps us consolidate a little bit better, it’s more centrally located, it’s easier for customers and guests to find,” Kane said.

Richco and Richardson Kitchen & Bath have a total of 175 employees, 60 of whom were added in the past 15 months. Kane plans to add another 30 employees this year.

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Time Warner Cable hiring 50 in Milwaukee
September 22, 2014 12:12 PM
Time Warner Cable is hiring more than 50 retention sales specialists in Milwaukee.

New York City-based TWC is one of the largest video, high-speed data and voice services providers in the country, with more than 15 million customers. Retention sales specialists take calls from customers who plan to cancel or switch their cable services.

“We are looking to fill a number of full-time retention sales specialist positions in our Milwaukee office, which provides many employment opportunities for this region of the state,” said Jack Herbert, regional vice president, operations at Time Warner Cable. “With the roll out of new products and services this year, the increased workforce is needed to assist customers.”

More information about the positions and online applications are available at jobs.timewarnercable.com with job number 159589BR. Those who meet the application requirements will be invited to a job fair on Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1320 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee.

The event will offer applicants the opportunity to meet leaders and assess the company culture, as well as get more information about hours, pay and trainings. Those who excel at the job fair will be invited for a final interview.

The jobs being filled all offer competitive compensation structures and extensive benefits packages.

"Time Warner Cable's decision to expand and create new jobs in the area is a win-win," said Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd. "Job creation is vital to the economic development of our community, and more importantly, vital to the talented individuals that will be hired. I applaud Time Warner Cable for their continued investment in Milwaukee’s economy.”

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PGA announces 2015 Championship tickets selling out fast
September 22, 2014 12:31 PM
The PGA of America and Kohler Co. announced today that the weeklong ground tickets packages for the 2015 PGA Championship have sold out.

The tournament will be held at Whistling Straits golf course in Sheboygan County. The weeklong grounds tickets sold out in the first month of sales during the second-highest one month total ticket sales in PGA Championship history.

The championship week runs from August 10 to 16, 2015, at the company's Whistling Straits course, along Lake Michigan north of Sheboygan. It is expected to draw up to 250,000 spectators to the area and result in a significant economic impact on the region, including Milwaukee.

Individual daily grounds tickets are still available, and Wanamaker Club and Ultimate Foursome packages are also available. The Ultimate Foursome package includes the right to purchase 2020 Ryder Cup tickets. That event will also be held at Whistling Straits.

More than 49,000 fans pre-registered to buy tickets when the tournament opened sales in mid-August.

“We’ve been thrilled to see so many fans purchase 2015 PGA Championship tickets during our first month of sales; the enthusiasm has been incredible and the sell-out of Season Grounds Tickets speaks for itself,” said Jason Mengel, tournament director. “With this being the week of the 2014 Ryder Cup, we also expect the remaining ‘Ultimate Foursome’ packages to go very quickly. The package is an incredible offering for golf fans, who – like us – are also very excited to see the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in 2020!”

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Gitomer: Why your sales process or sales system doesn’t work
September 22, 2014 12:19 PM
Are you being forced to sell someone else’s way?

Are you uncomfortable using a “system” of selling?

I read a report yesterday stating that 70 percent of all sales systems and sales initiatives fail. I have no idea who created that number (personally, I use 74 percent for all my statistical reports), but the point is clear. A system of selling and its accompanying sales process are pretty much doomed to failure before they begin.

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

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: Time to reopen door #4
September 22, 2014 12:20 PM
Americans clearly are sour on politics. According the latest Gallup public opinion polling, the number one problem in the U.S. is “dissatisfaction with government, Congress and politicians” along with “poor leadership, corruption and abuse of power.”

Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Mike McCabe, director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

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Morning Headlines: Big farms, frac sand mines could feel force of judge's groundwater ruling
September 22, 2014 12:21 PM
A recent legal decision is likely to significantly change how Wisconsin manages its groundwater and will especially affect the state's sandy counties where powerful wells are irrigating potato fields, servicing giant dairies, and providing water critical for the state's frac sand mining boom.

Read more in today’s Wisconsin Morning Headlines.

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Manufacturing Weekly: Waukesha Metal Products wins national Manufacturing Day video contest
September 22, 2014 12:22 PM
Sussex-based Waukesha Metal Products was named the grand prize winner for the first-ever Manufacturing Day video contest. Manufacturing Day, taking place on Friday, Oct. 3, is an annual celebration of manufacturing in North America, and its new video contest was a way for all organizations to share how they celebrate the day and why others should as well.

Read more in today’s Manufacturing Weekly.

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Lovell announces plans for collaboration, investments for MU
September 19, 2014 04:14 PM
During Marquette University's inauguration of Michael Lovell, Ph.D., held today on campus, Lovell announced several large-scale initiatives that will extend the university's presence in Milwaukee and expand its collaborations with other institutions and private sector partners.

The key initiatives, provided to the news media in an advance summary, outline Lovell’s vision for the university as he officially begins his tenure as its 24th president. 

Lovell, former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was named the first lay president of Marquette in March.

View a photo gallery of the inauguration here.
 
Among the most significant of Lovell’s announcements, to be highlighted during his inauguration address, is Marquette’s plans to purchase seven acres in the 800 block of West Michigan Street adjacent to the eastern edge of the MU campus in downtown Milwaukee and just south of the Straz Tower residence hall building at 915 W. Wisconsin Ave.
 
The property that the university is in the process of buying likely includes a vacant 4.6-acre site, south of Michigan Street and west of North James Lovell Street, that was formerly part of the Marquette Interchange and is listed for sale by the state Department of Transportation. The property that MU is buying also might include a pair of buildings owned by Zilber Property Group that cover about 1.6 acres, including a 132,334-square-foot office building at 801-03 W. Michigan St. and a 7,200-square-foot building at 521 N. 8th St. occupied by Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee. UMB Fund Services recently vacated 70,000 square feet of space at 803 W. Michigan St. when it moved to the Schlitz Park complex. Executives with Zilber Property Group were not available for comment.
 
In an announcement released by the university, Lovell called the real estate deal a “once in a generation opportunity” for Marquette and the city.
 
The property will allow the university to enhance the student experience and expand its footprint to the east, he said.
“We look forward to working with the campus community in the coming months to develop the best uses for the land,” Lovell said.  
 
Lovell will also shed light on a university push to ramp up a stronger presence in the Global Water Center, where the region’s water companies and research arms are exploring water technology initiatives. Marquette is interested in occupying a portion of the sixth floor in the 100,000 square-foot, seven-story site in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, according to university officials. Marquette’s move into the building would represent the first step the university as a whole has taken to be an active stakeholder of the Global Water Center.
 
Marquette has a number of scholars already interested in the science of water research as well as several scholars who are active with the Global Water Center, “but this significant presence will allow us to take a major step forward,” said Marquette University spokesman Brian Dorrington.
 
With a similar mindset of collaboration, the university is in the first stages of exploring a move into Innovation Campus in Wauwatosa. The 71-acre public-private research park, spearheaded by UW-Milwaukee, opened last spring as a hub to house partnerships between institutions and companies as well as the development of new products and businesses.
 
It is not yet clear what kind of presence Marquette would bring to the research park, but that presence remains on Lovell’s list of priorities.
 
The university will facilitate a campus-wide discussion on Oct. 2 to crystallize its involvement in the Innovation Campus. That discussion will also clarify details on a joint bioengineering department that Kristina Ropella, Ph.D., interim Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering, is forming with the Medical College of Wisconsin.
 
On campus, the university has established a $5 million strategic innovation fund, modeled much like a venture capital fund. The fund is comprised of $2 million earmarked in the university budget and another $3 million Lovell raised from a collection of donors that includes the Kern Family Foundation.
 
With a two-fold purpose, the fund will back students, faculty and staff with seed money for entrepreneurial ventures and will also enable the development of a “university-wide infrastructure for interdisciplinary initiatives,” Marquette said. Additionally, funds will benefit innovation projects that are structured and shaped by individual disciplines.
 
As part of that infrastructure, the university envisions the development of an on-campus innovation space where students can work in a collaborative setting as well as access technology and faculty support.
 
Specific projects to receive funds will be determined through a proposal process that will roll out next spring, with funding to be distributed at the beginning of July.
 
Also on campus, Marquette plans to establish a Center for Advancement of the Humanities where international scholars in humanities will lead disciplinary research. Through the center, made possible by a multi-million dollar legacy gift that Lovell secured from an anonymous Marquette alumna this week, the university aims to position itself as a top humanities school among Midwest institutions.
 
Additionally, Lovell is prioritizing campus safety as he begins his presidency. In tandem with Keith Wandell, CEO of Harley-Davidson, Lovell will work to improve the safety of the Avenues West neighborhood on the west side of Milwaukee. The two leaders are guiding a safety initiative that will include all of the neighborhood’s anchor institutions.
ette said. Additionally, funds will benefit innovation projects that are structured and shaped by individual disciplines.
 
As part of that infrastructure, the university envisions the development of an on-campus innovation space where students can work in a collaborative setting as well as access technology and faculty support.
 
Specific projects to receive funds will be determined through a proposal process that will roll out next spring, with funding to be distributed at the beginning of July.
 
Also on campus, Marquette plans to establish a Center for Advancement of the Humanities where international scholars in humanities will lead disciplinary research. Through the center, made possible by a multi-million dollar gift that Lovell secured from an anonymous Marquette alumna this week, the university aims to position itself as a top humanities school among Midwest institutions.
 
Additionally, Lovell is prioritizing campus safety as he begins his presidency. In tandem with Keith Wandell, CEO of Harley-Davidson, Lovell will work to improve the safety of the Avenues West neighborhood on the west side of Milwaukee. The two leaders are guiding a safety initiative that will include all of the neighborhood’s anchor institutions.

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Russian brewer acquires Pabst brand
September 19, 2014 11:13 AM
A Russian beverage company said Thursday it is acquiring the Pabst Brewing Company, which produces Milwaukee legacy beer Pabst Blue Ribbon and other brands such as Colt 45 and Old Milwaukee.

Oasis Beverages did not disclose terms of the transaction, but people briefed on the matter said the price was more than $700 million in cash, according to a report by The New York Times.

Backing Oasis is TSG Consumer Partners, an American private equity firm focused on consumer goods, which will take a minority stake.

“Pabst Blue Ribbon is the quintessential American brand – it represents individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression – all the things that make this country great,” said Eugene Kashper,chairman of Oasis Beverages. “The opportunity to work with the company’s treasure trove of iconic brands, some of which I started my career selling, is a dream come true. It will be an honor to work with Pabst’s dedicated employees and partner distributors as we continue to build the business.”

Pabst has been owned by Dean Metropoulos, a consumer products magnate who recently took over the Twinkie line of products from Hostess Brands with private equity firm Apollo. Metropoulos acquired Pabst in 2010 for about $250 million. Since taking over Pabst, Metropoulos has turned management of the company over to his sons, Evan and Daren, who have served as co-chief executives. The brothers have succeeded in making Pabst popular among hipsters. They are expected to step down after a sale.

Pabst is contract brewed by six U.S. breweries owned by MillerCoors.

TSG, with offices in San Francisco and New York, has owned stakes in food and beverage companies including Popchips, Vitaminwater and Muscle Milk over the years.

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Sears to close store at Bayshore Town Center
September 19, 2014 09:50 AM
The Sears store and the Sears Auto Center at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale will close in early December.

A liquidation sale will begin on September 26.

The Sears store and auto center have a combined 86 employees who will lose their jobs with the closures. They will receive a severance package and will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at area Sears or Kmart stores.

“Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model,” said Sears spokesman Howard Riefs. “These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail – at the store, online and in the home.”

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Residence Inn by Marriott hotel downtown sold for $23.9 million
September 19, 2014 10:32 AM
Minneapolis-based CSM Corp. recently purchased the 131-suite Residence Inn by Marriott hotel at 648 N. Plankinton Ave. in downtown Milwaukee for $23.86 million, according to state records. The hotel was sold by New York-based Investcorp International Inc.

“It is a great hotel, in a great location with great people associated with it,” said CSM spokeswoman Kate Burda.

CSM also recently purchased the 112-suite TownePlace Suites hotel, also an extended stay Marriott brand, at 600 N. Calhoun Road in Brookfield for $9.62 million.

CSM also owns the 281-room Marriott Milwaukee West hotel at W231 N1600 Corporate Court in Pewaukee and the Country Inn & Suites hotel at 1250 S. Moorland Road in Brookfield.

CSM plans to make some improvements to the lobby and breakfast area at the downtown Residence Inn by Marriott hotel, Burda said.

“It will be a refresh that our guests will enjoy,” she said.

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Common Council may ask PSC for equal treatment on utilities costs
September 19, 2014 11:09 AM
The Milwaukee Common Council will consider a resolution next week that calls on the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to equally apply its ruling that utilities and their ratepayers cannot be held responsible for the costs of moving underground utilities.

The PSC ruled in its final decision on Aug. 29 that utilities companies and their ratepayers cannot be held responsible for the utilities relocation costs for the planned downtown Milwaukee streetcar project.

The 2.1-mile streetcar line is expected to cost about $64.6 million, before utilities relocation costs. About $54.9 million in federal grant funds and $9.7 million in TIF district funds would cover the cost. Some underground utility lines and utility facilities may need to be reinforced or relocated along the streetcar line. At one time the utility companies involved estimated it would cost more than $83 million to move the utilities along the original route, but city officials and the utilities have been working to engineer the project to significantly reduce those costs.

Ald. Robert Bauman argued in a statement today that if We Energies ratepayers don’t have to pay for utility relocation costs for the Milwaukee streetcar project, then ratepayers also should not have to pay for utility relocation costs for any other public works projects in any community.

The Common Council will consider the resolution at its meeting on Sept. 23. The resolution directs the Department of Public Works and the City Attorney’s Office to identify all municipal public works projects that require We Energies to absorb utility relocation costs and to file a petition with the PSC objecting to those utility costs being passed on to We Energies.

“The PSC essentially opened the door for this action with its final decision on Aug. 29,” Bauman said. “If you follow the line of reasoning on the part of the PSC, it should also be unreasonable to require private utilities to pay utility relocation costs associated with other municipal public works projects such as street reconstruction work in other municipalities in the utility’s service area. A major street project in Watertown or Waukesha requiring utility line relocation costs should not affect the pocketbooks of We Energies customers in Milwaukee or Milwaukee County.”

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