Conference to focus on Milwaukee’s ‘Fresh Coast’

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The sixth annual BizTimes Commercial Real Estate & Development Conference will take place on Friday, Nov. 14, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. The annual conference has become a major networking and information event for members of southeastern Wisconsin’s commercial real estate industry. Last year, a sellout crowd of about 600 people attended the conference at the Italian Community Center.

The theme of this year’s conference will be "The Fresh Coast Advantage." Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is the planned keynote speaker.

The conference will focus on the strategic competitive advantage the Great Lakes region will have in the 21st century, when "water becomes the new oil." While heavily populated regions such as California, Arizona, Texas and Georgia are draining their supplies of fresh drinking water, the Great Lakes region contains 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater and 95 percent of America’s surface freshwater.

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The Milwaukee conference will explore how being positioned amid the largest supply of freshwater in the world will be a key driver of economic growth and commercial real estate development. From high-valued lakefront property to suburban communities needing Lake Michigan water to continue their growth, southeastern Wisconsin real estate development will benefit from the region’s access to the fresh water resource of the Great Lakes.

At the Milwaukee conference, Daley will discuss how regional collaboration between Chicago and Milwaukee will be beneficial for both cities and how being located in the Great Lakes will be a competitive asset in the 21st century.

Daley will be introduced at the conference by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

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In addition to Daley, other featured panelists at this year’s BizTimes Commercial Real Estate & Development Conference will be:

  • Franz Hoffman, president of Procorp Enterprises LLC in Milwaukee and chair of the Milwaukee 7 Water Council. Procorp specializes in sustainable water and wastewater treatment solutions. Hoffman will speak about the Great Lakes water resource and the need to use sustainable real estate development practices and products.
  • James Randel, commercial real estate attorney, broker investor and author. Randel is a leader in "added value" investing, an approach to real estate that attempts to boost the value of a property well beyond normal appreciation or inflation. His strategies have been followed by investors throughout the country. He is the author of "The Real Estate Game And How To Win It" and "Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur." Randel is a distinguished commentator on real estate issues at conferences throughout the nation, including the Harvard Business School. A native of Ohio, Randel will speak about the future strategic advantages of developing real estate in the Great Lakes region.

Small Business Times presents the conference in partnership with Marquette’s Bell Real Estate Program and the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin (CARW).

The opening remarks of the conference will be provided by Richard "Rocky" Marcoux, commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of City Development. Jim Villa, the new president of CARW, will provide some exclusive market data at the conference. The conference will be moderated by Mark Eppli, Ph.D., professor of finance and chair of the Robert B. Bell Real Estate Program at Marquette University.

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A special supplement, the BizTimes Commercial Real Estate & Development Book, featuring exclusive editorial content and data, will be published in conjunction with the conference.

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