262 if by land, 414 if by air …

Come Sept. 25, a good portion of southeastern Wisconsin businesses will find their telephone number area codes switched from 414 to 262. But their cell phone numbers may remain 414, depending on what the prefix is.
And in some cases, firms may be better off keeping a 414 area code for cell phone service rather than seeking a block of numbers within the 262 range, say the people at Ameritech.
The area code split will leave all of Milwaukee County and a few surrounding patches of land with the 414 area code while the remainder of the current 414 area switches to 262. The switch starts on Sept. 25; use of the new code will be optional until March 4, when the 262 code will have to be used to complete calls.
Firms such as CompuSource, a computer, telecommunications and networking firm near Goerke’s Corners in Waukesha, are among the firms which will see its area code switch to 262. But CompuSource’s cell phone service will remain 414, notes Sunnie Mandlman, office manager for the company. The issue is a big one for the firm, she said, because its staff heavily relies on cell phones.
While CompuSource is awaiting more information from Ameritech and reviewing its options, Ameritech’s Ralph Deptolla says firms in that position should take a good look at their calling patterns – how they use their cell phones.
By switching to a block of cell phone numbers in the 262 area, a firm might end up in a calling rate center that would incur higher costs. “It could end up being a long-distance call for someone calling you,” notes Deptolla, Ameritech manager of media relations.
In any event, cell phone users are advised to check the programing of their phones to ensure that all numbers they’ve put in speed-dial systems include the area codes. And Ameritech has also been advising firms to check their PBX and Centrex systems, fax machines, computer modems, and burglar and fire alarms for proper codes.
Meanwhile, CompuSource’s Mandlman said the firm is also concerned that, during the Sept. 25-March 4 transition period, recorded messages advising people of the change will add up on the air-time log. “It could add up,” says Mandlman, who’s firm uses Ameritech cell phones.
Cyber-sale
While personal relationships are still a key factor in real estate deals, it doesn’t hurt to throw in a little technology to foster interest in property.
That’s what most commercial real estate firms are doing now, and it’s paying off. Wangard Partners, a commercial brokerage firm with headquarters on Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa, is crediting the Internet for assistance in the sale of a $4 million shopping center.
The 61,000-square-foot Hilldale Plaza, located in Hartford, was recently purchased by RAE Holdings Wisconsin, of Beverly Hills, Calif., notes Les Birbaum, a Wangard associate who worked on the deal along with Stewart Wangard.
Wangard noted that the California buyer was researching available Wisconsin investment properties via the Internet where it learned of the Hilldale property.
The property was sold by Hilldale Plaza Limited Partnership, with Jiff Realty of Weyauwega representing the seller. The plaza was originally developed by Don Radtke, a Hartford-based builder and real estate broker. He was the general partner for the seller. The center is anchored by Brown’s Country Market.
Your time to talk
The Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Medical School are seeking public comment on plans to spend gifts estimated at $125 million each from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin Public Health Foundation.
The foundation is being created as the health insurer converts from a service insurance corporation to a stock company. It will donate the full equity of its stock to the foundation.
A July 15 hearing session is set for Milwaukee, at the Public Museum from 8:30-11 a.m. Comments are also being accepted via e-mail at wischealth@mcw.edu; and via postal mail at Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Wauwatosa 53226.

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