CRE conference panel to discuss Milwaukee development priorities

The ninth annual BizTimes Commercial Real Estate & Development Conference will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino.

The theme for this year’s conference will be “Milwaukee: The Way Forward.” In an age of austerity and limited fiscal resources, what should be southeastern Wisconsin’s priorities for commercial real estate and development? Which projects would be the best investments? Which projects would generate the greatest returns for the community? What needs to be done to move the projects forward?

BizTimes will conduct an exclusive survey of the members of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin (CARW) to determine the priorities of the professional real estate development community. The results of this exclusive survey, including comments from the members, will be unveiled at the conference. The hierarchy of the projects in the survey will provide critical feedback for public officials involved in planning and development.
The results of the survey will be discussed at the conference by a panel of some of the key leaders in the southeastern Wisconsin commercial real estate development industry.
The panelists providing insights at the conference will include:

  • James Barry III, president of Cassidy Turley Barry, a leading Milwaukee commercial real estate company with 90 years of history in the business.
  • Gary Grunau, president of Grucon Group LLC, who has developed some of the most significant projects in downtown Milwaukee, including Schlitz Park.
  • Barry Mandel, president of Mandel Group Inc., and integrated Milwaukee real estate services firm with operations in development, construction and property management. Mandel Group has developed and constructed more than $500 million in residential and retail developments and has financed, acquired and/or sold approximately $700 million of real estate.
  • Michael Mervis, vice president of Zilber Ltd., one of the most significant property owners in southeastern Wisconsin.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Professor Mark Eppli, Ph.D., the Robert B. Bell Sr. Chair in Real Estate at Marquette University. Eppli also will take questions for the panel from the audience.

The speakers for the opening remarks at the conference include: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Department of City Development Commissioner Richard “Rocky” Marcoux, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and CARW president Jim Villa.

The conference is presented by BizTimes Media LLC, in conjunction with the Commercial Association of Realtors of Wisconsin (CARW) and the Marquette University Center for Real Estate.

The BizTimes Commercial Real Estate & Development Conference attracts 400 to 600 people every year. The program will begin at 7:30 a.m.
A preview editorial story about the conference will be published in the Nov. 11 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine. The preliminary results of the CARW survey will be announced at the conference on Nov. 17. The full results of the survey, including remarks by CARW members and additional editorial content, will be published in the Nov. 25 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine and will be posted online at To register to attend the conference, visit

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