Steve Palec leaves Colliers, joins Irgens as chief marketing officer

35-year real estate veteran represented Irgens on new BMO Tower

Steve Palec is joining Irgens as chief marketing officer.
Steve Palec is joining Irgens as chief marketing officer. (Photo credit: Scott Paulus)

Last updated on August 6th, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Steve Palec, one of the most prominent commercial real estate brokers in Milwaukee, is leaving Colliers International|Wisconsin to join Milwaukee-based developer Irgens Partners LLC as chief marketing officer, Irgens announced on Monday.

According to a news release, Palec will be responsible for guiding marketing and branding for Irgens and building the company’s image as a health care and commercial real estate developer.

Palec is a 35-year commercial real estate veteran and has been one of Milwaukee’s most prominent office space brokers. During his career he has been involved in several major office transactions throughout southeastern Wisconsin. For instance, he represented GE Healthcare in leasing 500,000 square feet in Wauwatosa, assisted ManpowerGroup in its corporate headquarters project in downtown Milwaukee, facilitated Baker Tilly’s move downtown and represented Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., which is headquartered in a new office tower downtown.

Palec most recently worked with Irgens on the downtown BMO Tower, construction of which is scheduled to finish in December. The 25-story glass office building, located at 790 N. Water St., is so far about 55% leased. Tenants will include Michael Best & Friedrich, Heartland Advisors, Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP and BMO Harris Bank.

“Adding a (CMO) to our leadership team allows us to expand our reach,” Mark Irgens, chief executive officer and manager of Irgens, said in the news release. “We’re also thrilled to promote some of our most dedicated team members to new roles as we look to the future.”

Palec said after three and a half decades in real-estate brokerage, he was looking for a change, and that he jumped at the chance to market Milwaukee’s overall revitalization and increase the visibility of his new employer.

“I am in absolute awe of what’s happened in this community, just in the last five years,” he said. “This city is just absolutely exploding.”

Palec added that within the last five years the city has “eclipsed” the progress he had seen in the first 30 years of his career in real estate. He also wagered that the next couple of years would top even that.

In addition to the hiring of Palec, Irgens also announced a number of employee promotions. Tom Irgens is now executive vice president. Tom O’Meara has been promoted to vice president of development, while both Ryan Wagner and Jason Chapman have been promoted to the position of director of development.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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