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Shifting real estate landscape to be discussed at annual conference

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Brookfield Square, once one of the state’s most vibrant indoor shopping malls, is undergoing a dramatic facelift.

As economic and technology shifts have altered the way consumers approach buying, building owners, too, have had to alter their thinking.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc., which owns Brookfield Square, began contemplating this shift several years ago. Today, with the absence of anchor stores Boston Store and Sears, the mall is adding entertainment to its line up.

CBL is currently demolishing the former Sears store space and will replace it with a Marcus Theatres BistroPlex, a Whirlyball entertainment complex and food establishments.

The City of Brookfield is partnering with a developer to build a $32 million, 54,000-square-foot conference center and a 168-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel linked by a glass walkway in the former Sears Auto Center parking lot at Brookfield Square.

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Daniel Ertl, director of community development for the City of Brookfield and Eric Griffith, vice president of mall leasing for CBL Properties, will be among the featured presenters at the annual BizTimes Commercial Real Estate and Development Conference on Friday, Nov. 16. The event will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St. in Milwaukee.

“Attendees of this annual event rely on the fact that the topic is unique each year and is based on the most current trends in the industry,” said Dan Meyer, publisher of BizTimes Milwaukee. “This year is no different, with a look at adaptive reuse of space, certainly led by economic and technological shifts and a changing workforce, which are disrupting all forms of commercial real estate.”

Panelists will discuss how the changing economic landscape, driven largely by Amazon, the changing workforce and other new technological innovations, is forcing business owners, property owners and real estate investors to adjust.

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Attendees will also learn how these national trends are having an effect on the southeastern Wisconsin commercial real estate landscape.

Joining Ertl and Griffith as speakers at the conference are Douglas Fisher, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management at Marquette University, Scott Goldman, principal of Chicago-based real estate development firm Baum Revision LLC and J. Michael Mooney, principal, chairman and co-founder of Brookfield-based MLG Capital.

The event will be moderated by Mark Eppli, director of the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For more information or to register, visit biztimes.com/creconference.

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