Real estate conference to explore survival in a down market

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Last-minute registration is available to attend the sixth annual BizTimes Commercial Real Estate & Development Conference, which will be held Friday, Nov. 14, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee.

The theme of this year’s conference will be "The Fresh Coast Advantage," and the program will focus on the strategic competitive advantage the Great Lakes region will have in the 21st century, when "water becomes the new oil."

This year’s conference also will explore how people and companies in the Milwaukee region’s commercial real estate market can survive in the economic downturn and the tightened capital markets.

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The expert panel for this year’s SBT Commercial Real Estate & Development Conference will include:

Sean Linnane, vice president of Magellan Development Group LLC, one of downtown Chicago’s most prominent real estate development companies. Linnane is overseeing the development of Chicago’s $4 billion, mixed-use Lakeshore East community, believed to be the largest parcel of downtown land under development in any major U.S. city. Linnane will speak about the intrinsic value of waterfront development, and he will provide an outsider’s assessment of Milwaukee’s commercial real estate market and its use of its lakefront.

Franz Hoffmann, president of Procorp Enterprises LLC in Milwaukee and chair of the Milwaukee 7 Water Council. Procorp specializes in sustainable water and wastewater treatment solutions. Hoffmann will speak how Milwaukee can use its water resources as an economic development tool in the 21st century.

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James Randel, commercial real estate attorney, broker investor and author, will discus strategies people in the real estate industry can use to survive a down market. Randel 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, and he is frequently featured as a real estate expert on national newscasts. He will travel from Connecticut to speak at the Milwaukee conference.

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 the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin (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.

Small Business Times presents the conference annually in partnership with Marquette’s Bell Real Estate Program and CARW.

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To register to attend the party, visit

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