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Paul Ryan elected House speaker

 National - 10/29/2015 Rep. Paul Ryan captured enough House votes Thursday to become the chamber`s next speaker, as a splintered Republican Party turned to the youthful but seasoned lawmaker to mend its self-inflicted wounds and craft a conservative message to woo voters in next year`s elections.

In a slow-moving roll call that mixed politics with pageantry, 218 lawmakers - a majority - called out the Wisconsin Republican`s name as their pick for the job. That assured that Ryan will become the 54th speaker, presiding over a chamber that has been awash in tumult ever since defiant conservatives hounded John Boehner, R-Ohio, into announcing his resignation from that post last month....

Ken Notes: This will be good for Wisconsin and his work together mantra may slowly chip away at the walls that divide us all. On can only hope...
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Oscar Mayer plant in Madison will close; headquarters to move to Chicago

 Madison - 11/5/2015 Madison's Oscar Mayer plant a fixture on the East Side for nearly 100 years will close and its headquarters will move to Chicago, putting 1,000 employees out of work, parent company Kraft Heinz announced Wednesday. The loss of one of Madison's signature companies is part of a plan by parent company Kraft Heinz to close seven factories in the U.S. and Canada, four months after the two food giants merged. Our decision to consolidate manufacturing across the Kraft Heinz North American network is a critical step in our plan to eliminate excess capacity and reduce operational redundancies for the new combined company, Kraft Heinz said in a statement. We have reached this difficult but necessary decision after thoroughly exploring extensive alternatives and options...

Ken Notes: This is too bad. I wonder if this would be a good opportunity for another regional operation to start or expand. There is a huge new market for organic beef, China and Japan are looking for protein from dried or cured products, dry aged beef is a luxury for restaurants. This will also provide Madison with a huge development site with some serious cleanup issues. We need to start planing for this TODAY or we will be left with it in the future. Our best wishes to the employees and please let us know how we can help!
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Editorial: No state has been so ill-served by its governor as Wisconsin

 Wisconsin - 12/10/2015 As he reacquaints himself with Wisconsin after three years of positioning himself as a presidential prospect in states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, Gov. Scott Walker traveled to rural northern Wisconsin. The governor announced a plan to expand broadband access for several communities, which was a good thing.

Unfortunately, the plan comes very late, and with far fewer resources than if the governor was serious about developing the economy of Wisconsin....

Ken Notes: ONLY THE MESSENGER!! Alas there are many areas in which we could improve -- and broadband is one for sure. Economic development is another.

It is fair to educate the public on these issues. I prefer not to point fingers but rather offer solutions moving forward. So here are my suggestions:

1) Bring high speed internet to every school in the state. Use this new backbone expand offerings to area businesses.
2)Market Wisconsin products to the world. Ask the Milk Marketing Board to show you how.
3)Restructure and improve WEDC, I have outlined the steps for this often in other publications.
4)Use tax incentives to create new jobs in BOTH new and old businesses.
5)Examine and improve school to work and job training in the state through apprenticeship and working with the Wisconsin Tech and UW systems to expand opportunities.
6)Create a student retention program by offering a tax credit on interest paid on tuition loans in the state.
7)Improve infrastructure to make Wisconsin a hub for the new E-economy.
8)Work with local units of government to address issues rather than try to mandate change from Madison.
9)Create a more open government so the taxpayers have a better idea of what is going one.
10)Work toward improving bipartisan communication and compromise regardless of the vote count.

Pretty simple ideas really and I have no ownership on any of this except the fact that I have said all this before and will continue to advocate for these changes in the future. I hope you keep reading -- and for the record you may call me anything you want as long as you include an idea or two of your own...
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Students look for affordable housing as roofs, rent prices rise

 Madison - 11/12/2015 On the corner of North Bedford and West Mifflin Street, a crane towers over the steel and concrete skeleton of Uncommon, Madison's next apartment complex - just one of the many high-rise housing projects marking the downtown skyline.

According to a recent housing market report compiled by the city, the complexes like Uncommon filling downtown Madison with cranes and beams are actually responding to high demand fueled by incoming young professionals and baby boomers, which has led to rising prices and low vacancy....

Ken Notes: Great Read from the DAILY Cardinal soon to be not so daily which is not a good thing. Real press needs to survive and thrive and I will say so even if it means my demise as an aggregator/blogger.
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WEDC may have illegally awarded $21 million in tax credits

 Wisconsin - 11/19/2015 In the latest challenge for Wisconsin`s top jobs agency, its officials awarded $21 million in tax credits to companies but likely lacked the legal authority to do so, the Legislature`s non-partisan budget office and attorneys have concluded.

The finding by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau came in a private Aug. 19 letter to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting on for the first time.

But other state attorneys from WEDC, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Administration disagree, leaving the question in legal limbo for now. ...

Ken Notes: Arghhh! First I want to thank The WSJ and Cap Times for running my comments - Only thing worse than WEDC is no WEDC. - and I stand by them. But wouldn`t a simple public data base outlining: what was lent, who it was lent to, why it was lent, Where the money came from, and the current status of the loan or grant - make sense. We know that the press, legislature, and others will not rest until every stone is turned, so why not come clean all at once, admit mistakes, correct errors, develop new policy, and get on with the business at hand. The WEDC head has to make a strong statement to save the organization.
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Assembly Democrats call for extraordinary session on jobs, economic development

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 As Wisconsin approaches 11,000 layoff notices issued in 2015, Democrats in the state Assembly are calling for an extraordinary session dedicated to jobs and economic development.

"It's so clear there is a crying need for this," said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha.

Democrats have criticized their Republican colleagues for calling two extraordinary sessions this year: one to pass right-to-work legislation and another to pass a trio of bills related to campaign finance, ethics and elections oversight. Democrats argue those bills did nothing to help the middle class, while they have suggested more than 15 bills they believe would do just that...

Ken Notes: I will get yelled at by both parties here, but this is partisan finger pointing and not much more. We should have a session on development and jobs and surprise - WEDC should ask for it. They should also provide a program/legislative driven agenda to go with it. Here I start the ball rolling:

1) Incentives should be in the form of tax credits for new jobs created by businesses both old and new.

2) Each county and large city should have an Economic Development professional that is partially funded by and works with WEDC directly. (think UW Extension program)

3) WEDC will create a public data base showing every state, local, and federal dollar invested both old and new, who got it and why, along with the current status of the company, program or project updated quarterly.

4) WEDC will work with the private sector to bring both expertise and opportunity to the marketplace especially in the areas of entrepreneurship, job training, apprenticeship, and market development.

4)WEDC will work with vertical markets to collaborate on promoting their product to a national and international marketplace. (Please use the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board as an example here)

... Well there is a start - nonpartisan, specific, covers the spectrum from craft beer to high tech, and would return Wisconsin to a leadership role in the nation...
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New web tool streamlines business startup process

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 Wisconsin entrepreneurs will have access to a host of new business development resources with the launch of One Stop Business Portal.

The website, a project of the State of Wisconsin, is going live with its first phase today, opening entrepreneurs up to a central hub that can walk them through steps necessary to bringing their ideas to market....
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Republican Assembly speaker says he`s receptive to overhauling WEDC

 11/12/2015 Republican lawmakers are receptive to overhauling the state's embattled job creation agency after years of problems, including being caught flat-footed by last week's announced closure of Madison's Oscar Mayer plant. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Tuesday he plans to discuss with Democrats their concerns about the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and is interested in addressing sincere, legitimate problems, but he isn't proposing his own plan yet....

Ken Notes: Since I have only been writing about this for seven years, I obviously need a larger platform. Keep reading, WEDC seems to be a theme this week...
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MadREP Report: November 18 , 2015

 Madison Area - 11/19/2015

Despite Disappointment, Optimism Surrounds Oscar Mayer News
WEDC Insights: International Opportunities in Japan
REGIONAL NEWS
Exploring Entrepreneurship: Do you have what it takes?
Wisconsin Creative Summit - December 3, 10am - 4pm

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Emmons Business Interiors


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As Oscar Mayer news spreads, ripple effects big and small mount for community

 Madison - 11/5/2015 At a luncheon last month at Alliant Energy Center, community leaders taking part in a principal-for-a-day event watched a touching video about Oscar Mayer workers changing the lives of Madison East High School students.

The company had adopted the school, and its employees were doing everything from mentoring students in a club for African-American boys to paying for a record number of students in a business club to attend a state competition.

When news hit Wednesday that Oscar Mayer will be pulling out of Madison, East Principal Michael Hernandez thought of all of those connections, plus the sheer human toll....

Ken Notes: Again we are blessed with some time here, so lets start today! We can make thinks work out for the better if we are positive and proactive.
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MoolaPitch wants to make investing in Wisconsin startups easier

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 Invest a few hundred (or thousand, if that's your game) dollars in a startup through a crowdfunding site, see a return. Take that return, survey more investment options. Repeat.

That's the idea behind a Wisconsin startup, MoolaPitch, helmed by a former investment banker.

MoolaPitch, currently in a beta testing phase, is a crowdfunding site designed to help Wisconsin entrepreneurs raise money from fellow Wisconsinites. Due to legal regulations, the company only operates within state lines, a sort of buy local opportunity for the entrepreneurial fundraising community....

Ken Notes: Here is a simple idea for WEDC. Create a Wisconsin Ideas Website that allows startups to post there ideas for investors to view. Vet the projects as to feasibility, degree of progress, and need for funds. Provide contact information and detailed financial data to investors that have secure access based on application and background check. Work with WARF, The UW, Tech, Coworking spaces, and others to identify projects. TRACK THE PROGRESS and RESULTS. The governors business plan contest would be a great place to start. The application process is already on line as well as all the existing application data. If you do not see value in this provide H2Integration a grant and we will have it up and running buy January 1st.
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EDITORIAL: Shut down Scott Walker`s WEDC before the next jobs fiasco

 11/12/2015 It is completely appropriate to point fingers of blame at politicians and so-called economic development agencies - especially the failed Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. that were asleep at the switch as the Kraft Heinz food-processing conglomerate prepared to shutter its almost 100-year-old Oscar Mayer plant in Madison.

Officials in Iowa and New York had their act together and scrambled successfully to keep production facilities and jobs in their states.

Wisconsin, once again, was playing catch-up....

Ken Notes: I have suggested dramatic change for WEDC since before it was created. But when a company was hinting at leaving Lafayette County WEDC was still my first call. The Lafayette Company stayed and WEDC did help. I do suggest that WEDC should have been in a more communicative. WEDC needs to be fixed and I will not even point to one the articles I have written in the past that suggests this. That said, the only thing worse the the WEDC that we have is no WEDC at all. The ability to direct funds in a timely manner is imperative. A link to federal funds is crucial. Even the communication to the legislature is needed. The BAD: WEDC does not track the loans or grants they make, the communication is partisan, they do not work closely enough with the development professionals or elected officials at the local level, and they shoot their wounded. It is a mess but a strong leader could fix it. Should fix it. And if fixed, it would be a needed tool in a State with few tools at is disposal. The new mantra should be Prioritize, Justify, Track, Communicate...
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Madison`s Judge Doyle Square has seen several iterations over 10 years. What will finally click?

 Madison - 11/19/2015 It all started with an aging parking ramp.

Repairs were becoming more frequent at the Government East ramp on Block 105 in downtown Madison, bordered by East Doty, South Pinckney and East Wilson streets. Madison officials knew they would soon have to replace the structure, so they began planning for demolition and reconstruction within a decade, a $15 million project.

That was 2005....

Ten years later, the parking ramp is still in use and plans for its replacement along with the development of Block 88, located across South Pinckney Street, a project collectively known as Judge Doyle Square, have seen at least six different iterations...

Ken Notes: First a quick economic lesson. A project of this magnitude with the gaps in financing it contains will need a number of economic engines to succeed. This will include tenants, TIF, loan support, public segments of the project and much more.

None of this is simple and George Austin is well aware of this. It may take even more years to resolve all of this but, it is a huge project and worth getting right. In fact getting it wrong will make the PAC and Terrace seem downright profitable (and for the record, all economic impact included they may well be profitable -- or at least not the drain we see them as). We also have unanswered questions like: What about city hall? How much support is too much support? Exactly what public components are desired? How high can we go? Can we use John Nolen Drive? What tenant or tenants may be able to support the private side of the equation?

If JDS needs to rethink let them. If other have ideas, reopen the door. I would also establish TIF guidelines and a laundry list of public amenities (and as you know I personally would include the City Hall if not the County Building).

I hope when we have the grand opening, I am invited and we have a project that defines Madison.
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Kenton Peters has tried for 40 years to build a downtown lakefront park. Is Madison finally ready?

 Madison - 12/3/2015 When Kenton Peters' son was growing up in Madison in the 1970s, he'd go watch water ski shows on Lake Monona at Law Park.

Kenton Peters Jr. remembers the setting as a bit strange, watching skiers from a narrow patch of green space as cars whizzed back and forth behind him on John Nolen Drive.

It just seemed weird to have the road and all the traffic back behind you, and then just that little narrow strip of grass, Peters says. We lived over on Lake Mendota, where it was all houses, so if you didn't own a house on the lake, you really couldn't get to the lake. Here you could get to the lake, but you just had a little strip of grass and a highway behind you...

Ken Notes: YES it is! I have been writing and advocating for this for several years now. Google Earth the area and look at Kenton`s model. This will work. The space and a few projects on West Wilson St. would present a great opportunity for a new city hall and public market as well as his vision in fact my challenge to the Mayor and City Council it to add their vision here. We would have access for thousands of people along the shore. The structure would include parking so we can actually increase the green space along the water now covered in blacktop. As for cost -- think parking ramp with some development space on top, on Wilson and on the lakefront. Also by working with the existing buildings we could maintain views and access for far more units than we would ever obstruct. Well done this is a game changer for the city and could offer much for conventions, government, development, park space and public access.
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Next steps for the public market

 Madison - 12/3/2015 A new friends group has formed to help with fundraising...Just a few months ago it looked like Madison`s long-awaited public market would be delayed until the next decade. Citing other priorities, Mayor Paul Soglin failed to include any funds for the facility in his capital budget. But recent events, including the announcement that the city's Oscar Mayer plant will close in early 2017, spurred city leaders to move the project forward with a pledge of $4.25 million in city borrowing for the $14 million project.

The city`s investment, however, is contingent on securing $9.75 million in additional funding from grants, tax credits and donors. And supporters of the project are mobilizing, forming a fledging Friends of the Madison Public Market group, whose members are ready to step up and raise funds.

"There`s definitely lots of interest from all avenues of the community," says Meghan Blake-Horst, a lead organizer of the new friends group, which already has more than 100 members...

Ken Notes: A lot of great ideas here. The one challenge with a Public Market is the economic drivers to help fund it. If we look at the market as part of a larger project and vision and the project becomes much more reasonable and is easily fundable. Developers are very good at bundling a project so that it all works, we need to think about bundling in the public sector. This is why I believe the City Hall should be a part of the Doyle Square project and also why the Market should be a part of a larger vision. I thus like the district plan. Also there needs to be an umbrella for the project under a 501(c)3 so pledges and contributions are tax deductible now.
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Imagine five years from now: Insiders at Cap Times Talk discuss Madison`s growing startup scene

 Madison - 12/10/2015 Lighthouses and force fields are perhaps unexpected references at a panel discussion about startup communities.

But both made appearances at Tuesday evening's Cap Times Talk, What Madison does well and could do better for startups.

The hour-long panel, held at downtown coworking hub 100state, covered a variety of topics, from the identity of Madison's startup scene to its relationship with government, but discussions of inclusiveness and retention of talent dominated the conversation....Retaining more University of Wisconsin-Madison students after graduation, as well as twentysomething Epic employees who may be ready to move on, is another goal, according to Greg St. Fort, executive director of 100state.

This is one of the best schools in the world how do you retain that talent?? he asked.

Ken Notes: We need to grow new companies from the ground up as well as expand existing ones. The ideas of attracting out of state businesses is not working as well as we need. In fact we are losing a few large ones as other states consolidate their businesses.
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How many new apartments does Madison need?

 Madison - 12/10/2015 To longtime Madison residents, the city seems to be experiencing an apartment building boom like never before, yet a recent report from city planners says more than 1,000 new units will be needed each year to keep up with current demand....Is that true, and if so, how should Madison go about meeting that need? The Cap Times will bring together a first-rate panel of experts from multiple points of view to talk about those questions on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the High Noon Saloon, 701 E. Washington Ave. Cap Times reporter Bryna Godar, who covers city politics and frequently writes about housing and development, will moderate the panel. Its members will be:...

Ken Notes: The real issue is what kind of apartments are we building my talks with Planning suggests that many of these are being built to "condo" standards and could be sold in the future as the economy swings back into a position requiring that equity be a part of everyone`s portfolio.
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OPINION: Public market should not be a priority

 Madison - 10/29/2015 Regarding the mayor`s obsession with a public market, if it`s such a great thing, wouldn`t some developer be all over it?

Seems like this is another Monona Terrace or Overture Center -- a city-run money pit disguised as a city amenity that should be further down the priority list....

Ken Notes: The answer here is simple -- the private sector would do a public market if they could afford the land and had tax incentives that come with a PUBLIC market. Give me land and parking in Central Park, no property tax, and I will bring a developer to the table tomorrow to build it. It is a partnership between the community and the developer that makes a PUBLIC market work... Get it??
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Assembly passes Lambeau Field tax return bill

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 The state Assembly has approved a bill that would return $17 million in excess Lambeau Field taxes to Brown County taxpayers and local government. The bill passed Tuesday calls for 25 percent of the money to go to Brown County. The county`s municipalities would use the rest to lower property taxes, debt relief or for economic development. The Assembly approved the bill 89-2. The Senate passed it in September and it now goes to Gov. Scott Walker....

Ken Notes: Like this partnership...
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Findorff - Character Community Craftsmanship


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Developer study: New arena should be part of new destination at Alliant Energy Center

 Madison - 10/29/2015 A new multipurpose arena that would replace the aging Dane County Coliseum and new areas for retail, entertainment, dining and hotels are part of a recommended plan for the county that would turn the Alliant Energy Center complex into a $500 million destination development.

The plan was one of three options included in a new study by Hammes Co. that outlined the future options of the complex and its past and present problems that have made it a financial burden for the county....

Ken Notes: I agree -- but keep reading because how we pay for this is an issue. Also do we want a new arena or improvements and better marketing for what we have now. I want to become the best place in the world for livestock, farm, and food shows. I agree, we can not afford to loose money but would ask how do we want to make money! I would once again like to throw an urban campground into the mix like at State Fair Park. Also I think we need to tie all of our venues into one marketing arm so an AEC event might have a dinner at the Terrace or a concert at the the PAC. Also we lack hands on training facilities in the city for mini EPICs to train customers or host demonstrations...
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Venture capitalists nod to Epic, UW-Madison for Madison`s burgeoning startup scene

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 Venture capitalists are optimistic about Madison's future as a startup hub, according to a panel of experts speaking at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium on Wednesday.

I think there's a high number of scrappy, quality companies based here, said Ablorde Ashigbi, of Pritzker Group Venture Capital, a Chicago-based venture capital company. We think there's a significant amount of opportunity here that isn't being covered like Silicon Valley.

Ashigbi said he's spent quite a bit of time scouting Madison-based startups over the past couple months about five visits in the last 60 days....
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Building a coworking community

 Madison - 11/12/2015 Gregory St. Fort is a New Yorker, through and through....By November 2014, St. Fort had joined 100state, at 30 W. Mifflin St., an entrepreneurial gathering space that calls itself Wisconsin's largest coworking community, and in September, he took the helm as executive director.

It's a place where members can rent space ranging from a laptop-sized spot at a long table to an individual, private office.

Ken Notes: I now work out of 100State a few days a week (easy to spot I am the OLD guy). The energy, enthusiasm and entrepreneurship is fantastic. I leave energized, I used to work for a previous governor and I left the Capitol drained. We need creative thinking on the hill as well as across from it. Thanks Greg for letting me play in your sand box...
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Mallards executives near deal to manage Breese Stevens Field

 Madison - 11/19/2015 In the last five years, Vern Stenman and Conor Caloia have had a hand in refurbishing old stadiums around Wisconsin.

Now they`re ready to take on a similar challenge closer to home.

Big Top Baseball - a partnership that includes longtime Madison Mallards executives Stenman, Caloia and founder Steve Schmitt - is in final negotiations with the city of Madison over a lease contract through which Big Top will manage operations of Breese Stevens Field on the near east side....

Ken Notes: They have resources, staff, ideas, and proven talent. Since you need new restrooms and will have sporting events, why not showers that could be used AND MAINTAINED by the homeless. They stay nice and clean or are closed to the public.
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Household income takes sharp downturn in most of Wisconsin

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Median household income fell by a significant margin in two-thirds of Wisconsin counties from 2009 to 2014, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Milwaukee County, the median income fell by 10.3% to $43,385. Waukesha County, which had the highest median income in the state at $76,319, saw a 7.1% drop. Washington (-5.2%), Ozaukee (-7.7%) and Racine (-7.9%) counties all experienced declining incomes, as well....

Ken Notes: This is not good. We need to refocus on good jobs, education and training. We can turn this around with a real effort and less of the political rhetoric that has us focused on some issues that should be way down on the scale of importance. Lets start a JOBS party...
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Ho-Chunk Nation envisions sports complex

 Madison - 12/3/2015 Can you see it? Dan Brown certainly can. The executive manager of Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison has held a vision for many years to develop 47.75 acres of vacant, tribally owned land adjacent to the casino. With all that undeveloped land and money to build, it's just a matter of finding the big idea and the right partners. We considered building a big-box retail store, an industrial park and even a corporate headquarters, says Brown, who hired Urban Assets, a local planning and community development firm, to conduct a high-level study on what type of development made the most sense for both the Ho-Chunk Nation and the city of Madison. At the end of the day, we are looking for a regional destination,...

Ken Notes: Smart move on their part...
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Dane County towns split on bill that would allow opt-out of county zoning control

 Dane County - 12/10/2015 Eight Dane County towns have formally opposed a state bill advocated for by Dane County Towns Association leadership that would allow towns to opt out of Dane County`s zoning authority. The proposed legislation is among a handful of bills scheduled for public hearings today before the Assembly`s Committee on Housing and Real Estate, but prior to its hearing, leaders from the towns of Dunn, Cross Plains, Montrose, Perry, Christiana, Oregon, Pleasant Springs and Springdale sent a letter to Chairman Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown, opposing the bill....
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WSJ Business Roundtable: Affordable housing is needed but a challenge to build

 Madison - 12/10/2015 Affordable housing is needed in Dane County, but creating enough to not only offset current growing demand but also help catch up from a lack of building activity during the Great Recession is a challenge. That's according to a panel of affordable housing experts who discussed the issue during a recent Wisconsin State Journal Business Roundtable discussion....

Ken Notes: Affordable requires a partnership between the community and the developer...
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County Executive Joe Parisi does not support expensive new plan for Alliant Energy Center

 Dane County - 10/29/2015 Dane County`s top elected official will not support a recommended private-public redevelopment plan for the Alliant Energy Center, saying the $117 million price tag for the county is unaffordable.

Spending all that money for a concert venue is a nonstarter for me, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Tuesday, a day after the release of a study by the Hammes Co. recommending that the county spend that amount to replace the aging Dane County Coliseum with a new arena, add a parking ramp and improve Exhibition Hall....

Ken Notes: I like that he is looking at this in light of other projects. I believe we can get this right with a little more discussion. Has the World Dairy Expo been involved in the process yet?
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Developer very hesitant to continue if Madison opens Judge Doyle Square for new proposals

 Madison - 11/19/2015 One of the four developers that submitted proposals for the major Judge Doyle Square redevelopment process in May has sent a letter to city officials urging them not to open the process to new developers again, suggesting it might not continue in the process if that happens.

From Chicago-based Vermilion Development president David Cocagne, the letter notes the divergences the city has taken from its original process and says if the city moves to accept new proposals again, his company will be 'very hesitant' to continue.

Madison sent out a request for proposals in March 2014, receiving four proposals from Beitler Real Estate Services, Vermilion Enterprises, JDS Development (a joint venture of Hammes Company and Majestic Realty Co.) and Doyle Square Development (a joint venture of Urban Land Interests and North Central Group)....

Ken Notes: Even though only a proposal, there is a cost to putting together a serious proposal. If the original four want to move forward with out reopening the process, ask for two things: one an in the dirt by date, and two a performance bond upon a developers agreement being signed.
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Madison-Kipp Corp. announced $3.5M expansion in Sun Prairie

 Sun Prairie - 11/5/2015 The project will include an estimated $3.5 million in construction and will consolidate off-site warehousing as well as add additional manufacturing space, according to a release. The city of Sun Prairie is providing TIF assistance to reimburse the developer for $274,000 for several onsite improvements, which is one of the reasons the location was selected, officials said....
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No daily newspaper left at UW-Madison as Cardinal cuts production

 UW Madison - 11/12/2015 The Daily Cardinal plans to cut production of its print edition to two days per week, leaving UW-Madison without a daily student newspaper only a few years after the campus had two of them.

The Cardinal will print on Mondays and Thursdays next semester, dropping from four editions per week as part of a shift that will see the 123-year-old company focus more on its web and mobile products, editor in chief Jim Dayton said....

Ken Notes: Nooooooooooooo....
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Cap Times and 100state to host panel on growing, improving the Madison startup scene

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at 100state

Though Wisconsin is ranked 50th in the country for startup activity, the Madison startup scene is growing. Startup hub 100state now houses a wide array of budding businesses from the guerrilla marketing Startup Rangers, to a startup aiming to bring yoga to educators and a company that recently visited the White House.

Gener8tor, a startup incubator based in Madison, has been named one of the top incubators in the country. And StartingBlock, a startup hub set to open on East Washington Avenue next year, has raised millions for its construction.

Now`s the time to talk about what Madison is doing right in the startup space - and what it can do better...
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Plan Commission signs off on 8Twenty Park affordable housing proposal

 Madison - 12/10/2015 .An affordable housing development for South Park Street moved a step closer to final approval on Monday.

After nearly two hours of a public hearing and discussion, Madison`s Plan Commission approved developer J.T. Klein Company`s revised plans for a 95-unit apartment building at 820 S. Park St. and associated zoning changes...

Ken Notes: Read this we negotiated a better project for a change...
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Democrats join Assembly Republicans in approving $350M in borrowing for roads

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 All four Democrats on the Legislature's budget committee joined six Assembly Republicans on Wednesday to approve borrowing $350 million for big-ticket road projects including the Verona Road/Beltline Highway project and widening Interstate 39/90.

Six Senate Republicans voted against the plan.

At the same time, Democrats slammed Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican majority for not developing a long-term plan sooner to pay for major road projects, including raising the state's gas tax....
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MGE to add renewable power and reduce harmful emissions in 15-year plan

 Madison - 11/19/2015 Madison Gas & Electric says it will add solar or wind power and will further reduce harmful emissions from its power plants as part of a plan for the next 15 years.

The Madison utility company also says it will not ask for a hike next year in the fixed rate that customers pay for electricity - an issue that sparked citizen protests in the summer of 2014.

The proposals are part of MGE's Energy 2030 plan, a framework for meeting the area's energy needs through 2030, released on Wednesday....

Ken Notes: When MG&E contacted me about the rate hikes they promised that they were committed to clean energy. This plan is a huge step in fulfilling that promise. Much more on this Monday in WDNGreen.com...
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Central Wisconsin can empathize with loss of Oscar Mayer

 Wisconsin - 11/19/2015 The paper mill, owned by Canadian-based Domtar since 2001, has been a fixture in this community of just over 2,500 people since 1883. But over the last 15 years, Beaver has watched as the state's paper industry has shed thousands of jobs and in some cases, closed mills....Manufacturing is one of the pillars of the state's economy but dozens of communities around the state have seen large, legacy employers close or leave the state over the last 30 years. They include the General Motors Assembly plant in Janesville, Uniroyal in Eau Claire, Mirro Aluminum Company in Manitowoc and Kenosha Engine Company in Kenosha...

Ken Notes: It does seem we are not in tune with our existing businesses. I would think keeping and growing these is just, if not more, important then attracting new companies...
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Wisconsin Companies Invited to Join Trade Venture to Germany

 Wisconsin - 12/10/2015 Business development trip coincides with the world?s premier industrial technology trade show, financial assistance available for small businesses to help with exhibit costs

MADISON, WI, Dec. 10, 2015 ? The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) invites companies to join the Wisconsin delegation at Hannover Messe, the world?s leading industrial technology event, taking place in Germany in April.

Participation options include taking part in WEDC?s global trade venture to explore export expansion opportunities and subsidized tradeshow exhibition space at the show for small businesses that meet certain criteria....
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OPINION: Dane County Coliseum ripe for remake

 Madison Area - 10/29/2015 The Dane County Coliseum was a state-of-the-art concert venue when the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and The Doors performed there in the late 1960s.

A lot has changed since then, and the Coliseum hasn't kept up. The big shows rarely come to the outdated facility along the city's South Side.

A task force report this week points toward rebuilding the arena to invigorate the larger Alliant Energy Center property with private investment.

We're not about to endorse a more than $100 million public investment, given the preliminary nature of the report's findings and suggestions. Another option, the report notes, is renovating the existing building at substantially less cost....

Ken Notes: We may even be on the same page here, but I want to know if cows and Imagine Dragons fit in the same space and why are we not seeing more music events in the Kohls center. P.S. saw Dragons this summer and we need to book them!
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City gives JDS Development/Exact Sciences Corp. brief delay to exp(l)ain impacts of drop in stock value on Judge Doyle Square project

 Madison - 10/29/2015 Mayor Paul Soglin is giving JDS Development and Exact Sciences Corp. more time to explain how a recent sharp decline in the stock value of Exact Sciences will affect the proposed $200 million Judge Doyle Square project, where the company would be a key tenant.

JDS/Exact Sciences was supposed to submit much-anticipated answers on Wednesday, but Soglin is granting a request from the developer and growing biotech company to submit a report on Monday.

The mayor's office sent out a brief statement on the delay on Wednesday with no explanation beyond the request from JDS/Exact Sciences....

Ken Notes: Deep breaths... Can I point that the WSJ had a typo in the title of this article. It does not offset my dozens per week but it does help...
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MadREP Report December

 Madison Area - 12/3/2015 ...Community Highlight: Rising Tides in Watertown ... WEDC Insights: International Opportunities in United Arab Emirates... REGIONAL NEWS ...Evansville I&E Club December 9, 6:30pm Creekside Place, Evansville...The Future Wisconsin Economic Summit 2015 December 9, 8:30am-3pm Monona Terrace, Madison ...2015 BioForward Annual Member Meeting December 9, 5-7:30pm Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison ...Funding Opportunity: Idle Industrial Site Competition Deadline: December 11...gener8tor Madison 2016 Early Application Deadline: December 13 Final Deadline: January 2 ...Request for Proposals: Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development Resource Fund Deadline: December 21, 2pm...
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MIG Commercial Real Estate

 1/8/2015
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Don`t subsidize Judge Doyle Square

 Madison - 11/5/2015 The recent setback to the Judge Doyle Square project has solidified my opposition to using any more tax dollars to subsidize Downtown private projects.

We have already spent enough public money, maybe more than enough, on Downtown. If private investors wish to develop Judge Doyle Square, fine. Let them do so with private money. Let them take the risks, and make the profits -- if any. I suspect Downtown investment has reached the diminishing returns level, but let`s let private investors decide this....

Ken Notes: Remember TIF is designed to be a "but for" gap solution. The site will be difficult to develop and there are a number of gaps and needs to addressed. So TIF becomes a solution NOT a subsidy. I continue to believe if The City Hall Building (and the County Building for that matter) is not on the table as a part of the project the square becomes that much more difficult to develop. There are great opportunities out there but you need to all the options and solutions, pick one and address the gaps in financing and the value of that investment to the community.
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OPINION: City should pursue Downtown dream

 Madison - 11/12/2015 Madison has a rare second chance to save Downtown Madison.

Now that Exact Sciences has pulled out of the Judge Doyle Square project, it is time to get started making the area between the Capitol Square and Lake Monona every bit as electric as State Street with a better view.

Renaissance man and veteran architect Kenton Peters believes as I (Mitch Henck) do that people have to live Downtown to have vibrant energy at all hours of the day....

Ken Notes: Peters has some great ideas. Monetizing them will be the challenge and one I hope we look at. I am a fan of building over John Nolen and growing the downtown. I firmly believe we need a new City Hall that is both functional and aesthetic. We also should throw other building into the mix, DHFS, the County Building and others...
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Cap Times reporter Bryna Godar talks Judge Doyle Square on WORT

 Madison - 12/3/2015 The ambitious downtown project now known as Judge Doyle Square has been through multiple iterations over the past decade, including parking, a hotel, a train station, a public market and headquarters for biotech company Exact Sciences Corp.

After a deal with Exact Sciences and developer JDS Development fell through in early November, the city returned to three other developers who submitted proposals for the project in May...

Ken Notes: I like WORT but we need these discussions on our TV News and in the large state newspapers, the idea of the internet and public supported outlets replacing mainstream media is fraught with problems. And I am an internet based publicly supported outlet...
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Landlord-tenant bill draws concerns from city officials throughout Wisconsin

 Wisconsin - 12/10/2015 A wide-reaching bill regulating the rights of landlords, tenants and municipalities is set for a public hearing in front of an Assembly committee Thursday, about a week after it was introduced.

The bill has drawn objections from city officials and tenants` rights advocates, while two regional apartment associations are registered to lobby in favor of it.

Its authors, Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, and Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, described it in a cosponsorship memo as "a technical bill designed to make it easier for landlords to provide Wisconsin residents with quality housing." ...

Ken Notes: I am confused don`t we need to work with the local communities to create the best housing markets for there communities?
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Is food tech Madison`s next startup trend -- Industry

 Madison - 10/29/2015 The Madison area is known for its health IT startups, but there may be another game in town soon, according to some industry insiders: food tech, technology that connects users with their favorite restaurants and grocery stores.

Tom Still, director of the Wisconsin Technology Council, asked a set of panelists on Tuesday afternoon in Madison if they thought Madison ? or Wisconsin in general ? could become a hub for restaurant and grocery store-focused technology companies....

Ken Notes: Madison needs incubator space for several vertical markets we have IT, CoWorking, and Manufacturing and design -- but wet lab, food research, food prep/kitchen, and other science related spaces are expensive and hard to come by. Our grads with great ideas are forced to work for large bio or food companies so the have the space needed to be creative. Working out of 100 State has introduced me to a number of very bright people with good ideas and no lab space to grow...
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How Walmart Became a Sustainability Leader

 National - 11/19/2015 On Oct. 23, 2005, Lee Scott, at the time CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., spoke from the auditorium of the company's Home Office in Bentonville, Ark., the first time a company speech had been livecast to every one of the company's stores, clubs and distribution centers....

One store manager in Waveland, Mississippi, took a bulldozer to clear a path into and through her store, finding every dry item she could to give to neighbors who needed shoes, socks, food and water. "She didn't call the Home Office and ask permission," Scott noted. "She just did the right thing."...Katrina asked this critical question, and I want to ask it of you: What would it take for Walmart to be that company, at our best, all the time? What if we used our size and resources to make this country and this earth an even better place for all of us: customers, associates, our children and generations unborn? What would that mean? Could we do it? Is this consistent with our business model? What if the very things that many people criticize us for - our size and reach - became a trusted friend and ally to all, just as it did in Katrina?

Ken Notes: Interesting read. I have often been critical of Walmart, and still am, but I would love to see companies like this lead the way to a more sustainable future. They are marketing brilliance so we have to do the due diligence required to see if they practice what they preach. I remember the made in America campaign which was used to bring people into the store only to sell them the less expensive stuff made over seas...
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Kraft Heinz subsidy for net loss of jobs stirs debate in Iowa

 Wisconsin - 11/19/2015 Next year, Kraft Heinz will begin work on a new $200 million plant near Eldridgem Iowa. But when the company moves from its longtime location in downtown Davenport, it guarantees taking only 475 workers with it. Possibly hundreds more will lose their jobs. Yet, Kraft Heinz, a company that reported nearly $6.4 billion in sales last quarter, will pocket millions of dollars in state and local incentives....

Ken Notes: Have I ever mentioned a tax credit for job creation instead of incentives???
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Exactly wrong project is no big loss

 Madison - 11/5/2015 It would have been cool if Exact Sciences had moved downtown.

But it was never as important, never as much of a game changer, as city leaders said it was. The downtown is doing fine and it will continue to prosper even now that the company has retrenched into an expansion at its existing facility in the University Research Park.

There was always a curious air of desperation about the city's chasing of Exact Sciences. It put the taxpayers in a weak position as the city negotiated with the hard-driving developer, Bob Dunn, over the project.

Now that the whole project has crumbled the proposal included space for Exact Sciences, a new hotel to serve Monona Terrace, a refurbished Madison Municipal Building, lots of new parking and more the city is going back to the drawing board....

Ken Notes: Mayor Dave brings some great perspective and background here. It would be easy to suggest sour grapes, but he offers ideas and solutions well beyond that. Latter in the article he does talk about parking in Paris which is not fair as they have a real transit system. We do NOT....
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51 percent of Madison renters are cost-burdened, just below national average

 Madison - 10/29/2015 More than half of Madison`s renters are considered cost-burdened, but the percentage has been falling slightly for the last five years.

And in 2014, Madison`s share of renters who pay 30 percent or more of their household income toward housing fell below the national average.

The drop, however, may be more indicative of an introduction of more high-income renters than a decrease in the actual number of cost-burdened renters, said Matt Wachter, the housing initiatives specialist for Madison`s Community Development Authority....

Ken Notes: A great report. We need more unique moderately priced or creative housing but when a developer can put up a high end apartment unit and charge enough to cash flow and make money there is little incentive to build anything else. Government subsidy make the problem worse because the majority does not qualify and they are left with little inventory to buy or rent. These in the gap may become a real problem for Madison and other urban markets. The person who cuts my hair in Madison drives 30 miles to work so her family can afford a nice home. This will catch up to us all if we do nothing about it now. The key - small, affordable, dense, new urban, is not even on the radar screen...
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OPINION: Judge Doyle Square still has lots of potential

 Madison - 11/5/2015 Exact Sciences proposal for a high-tech headquarters in Downtown Madison was never a make-or-break prospect for the city.

So the mayor and City Council shouldn't feel too bad about the rapidly growing biotechnology company pulling the plug this week on what would have been a $200 million development in the heart of the city....

Ken Notes: Yep...
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City Council approves extension for Judge Doyle Square director

 Madison - 11/5/2015 A day after plans for a $200 million redevelopment of Judge Doyle Square collapsed, Madison City Council members reaffirmed their faith in the consultant who led negotiations on the city's behalf.

Council members voted 15-4 to approve up to a $30,000 contract extension for Judge Doyle Square project director George Austin to compensate for the expedited negotiating timeline that Austin had to work under to accommodate Exact Sciences Corp. and to continue his service through January 2016....

Ken Notes: George Austin is perfect for these negotiations, he is connected, respected, and smarter than any developer I know -- which is what you need on your side...
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Tech and Biotech: Elevator Pitch picks winners; Pegasus lands funding

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 Companies touting a new type of sports helmet and a device to prevent hearing loss won wows from the judges and the audience at the Elevator Pitch Olympics on Thursday.

Always a highlight of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, the Elevator Pitch Olympics features very young startups, and each leader has 90 seconds to sum up why the company's product or service has gangbuster potential.

Fifteen startups gave their spiel, eight of them from the Madison area.

Ken Notes: All should get space on the new WEDC website... if there were a new WEDC website...
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Continued development means more retail spaces

 Madison - 11/19/2015 When Gail Ambrosius opened her chocolate shop in 2004, she wasn't sure how many people would visit her 600-square-foot space at Main and First streets. Any worries she had quickly faded as her business moved in 2006 into a 2,000-square-foot space at 2086 Atwood Ave. And now Ambrosius, 56, is planning another move into yet another larger space....

Ken Notes: This is a good thing, but we may need a Public Market to incubate these retailers. Most startups fail and downtown is brutal on those that try. Gail is brilliant and talented by the way...
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Mayor Paul Soglin, City Council members want close look at city building for men`s homeless shelter

 Madison - 12/3/2015 Madison officials want to take a close look at renovating an aging city building for a Downtown men's homeless shelter.

Mayor Paul Soglin and six City Council members on Tuesday proposed the city spend $64,000 to hire an architect to see if the city's Fairchild Building, 120 S. Fairchild St., has potential to hold an overnight shelter for homeless men. The council will decide whether to hire the firm at a later date....

Ken Notes: Why don`t we approach this like a health or social club. Why label those entering a facility as something with negative connotations. Lets build an opportunity center where people can sleep, get cleaned up, wash some clothes, get a meal, put their feet up, get online, call friends, workout... Also lets ask them to take care of it, clean it, design it, and own it.

Perspective -- I am a member of 100State, I have an office with a view of the capitol, a place to plug in and kick back, can invite my friends and business associates to join me, and off the record there is free beer. I am cool - not homeless. Why should others be homeless and not cool...
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Madison`s Tenant Resource Center uncertain about future funding

 Madison - 12/10/2015 Following two heated Dane County budget cycles, a few housing services long provided by the Tenant Resource Center will switch over to the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, leaving the TRC less certain about its future funding.

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, the CAC will take over publishing a housing vacancy list for the county and will staff the Housing Help Desk at the Dane County Job Center.

For users of the service, the main change will be expanded hours - while the TRC previously staffed the desk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., CAC will run it from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The same phone number - (608) 242-7406 - will still work....

Ken Notes: I have to believe the City and County have far better resources and staffing in house for some of these services. Using outside resources when projects can be better handled by existing staff is not economically sound. This becomes far more complicated when the service you are contracting with has a clear political agenda in addition to the services they provide.
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Wisconsin Democratic lawmaker joins national push for debt-free college

 Wisconsin - 12/10/2015 Wisconsin would form a commission to study how to make college debt-free for prospective students under a proposal Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, plans to introduce next week....

Ken Notes: The numbers for free college do not work, but look at a loan program that allows EVERY Wisconsin graduate to enter the tech or UW System using loans and wave interest payments if they remain Wisconsin residents. This does work and we could do it tomorrow...
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Funding research is vital to Wisconsin

 UW Madison - 11/19/2015 Scientific research is the most powerful tool we have to promote human and animal health and guard against disease. Incremental discoveries made in the lab today are vital in developing new treatments for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and other conditions affecting the people of Wisconsin and the rest of the country. Without a doubt, federal funding fuels life-saving research in Wisconsin. In 2014, our state received $386 million from the National Institutes of Health, $108 million from the National Science Foundation, $29 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and $53 million from the Department of Energy Office of Science in research grants. Scientists, students and support staff rely on these funds. Their efforts yield new discoveries and train our high-skill workers....
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Madison City Council approves affordable housing funding

 Madison - 12/3/2015 Madison City Council voted Tuesday night to spend nearly $2.8 million from the city's Affordable Housing Fund to help provide 159 units reserved for renters with lower incomes. Council members unanimously approved funding on a voice vote for three applicants who submitted development proposals to the city using low-income tax credits....

Ken Notes: Above I mentioned my 100State perks -- at $50 per month (my dues), we could provide the same brick and mortar for 1,666 homeless for four years with the same 2.8 million and hire staff to run it.
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Plans give a look at building, intersections in Hill Farms redevelopment

 Madison - 12/3/2015 Plans for a new state office complex at Hill Farms show a nine-story building and a seven-level parking ramp on the west side of the property. They also show a new intersection on University Avenue for access to what is expected to be a blend of housing, offices and commercial development. The drawings, labeled as from late October and done by the Madison office of national architecture firm SmithGroupJJR, offer a look into what the state and developer Smith Gilbane have planned for the first part of the redevelopment of the Hill Farms area on Madison`s west side...
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Scott Walker very interested in helping create Madison public market

 Madison - 11/12/2015 Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday he is very interested in helping the city of Madison develop a public market.

Walker's comments come a day after Mayor Paul Soglin said he and Walker spoke Friday during which Soglin asked for the governor's help in creating the market. The mayor's request came in the wake of the impending closure of Oscar Mayer's Madison headquarters....

Ken Notes: Jobs, new business incubation, fresh produce, temporary space, event space... What`s not to like...
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Johnson is jumping: The East Johnson Street neighborhood is back (again!)

 Madison - 10/29/2015 When Johnson Public House opened in April 2011, that stretch of East Johnson Street was pretty quiet.

Gwen and Kyle Johnson, Chicago transplants with young children, chose the In the Company of Thieves location at 908 E. Johnson to develop a more contemporary concept, serving pour-over, single-origin coffees and hosting music and storytelling events.

To the Johnsons, finding the cafe on a street with their name felt like fate, even if they were among just a handful of businesses...

...The uptick in new businesses says that East Johnson, technically part of the larger Capitol East District, is developing its own identity as a shopping and dining destination. It has a different feel from spots like Sujeo and Cargo Coffee or the new Julep, Barolo and A-OK restaurant group, all on East Washington Avenue...

Ken Notes: I hope we continue to see the neighborhood vibe grow and thrive in Madison. I love Willy Street, State, Monroe, Regent, and all the rest... Each with it`s own vibe and style... We may not promote this enough especially to tourists and visitors. I met a hotel guest the other day asking for pizza, he mentioned Pizza Hut - I walked him to Ian`s...
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OPINION: Why the time has come for cannabis in Madison

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 Madison is a community of thinking people. It has a reputation of studying issues and buying in when something makes sense. And nothing makes more sense than the legalization of cannabis (marijuana). By every standard of truth, cannabis has proven itself to be a benefit to any governmental body that legalizes it.

In Colorado, where I visit often, cannabis is a key news topic year round. Its legalization has raised a remarkable amount of money for the state?s schools. Patient studies call it the best seizure medicine in history. Legalization has helped spur a massive drop in crime, murder and hard drug overdoses. Even the tourism industry has benefited as the curious come to observe....

Ken Notes: What if we changed the focus to our youth. Imaging Colorado taking 100% of cannabis revenues and focusing on preventing youth from accessing drugs, including cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco and nicotine. Also programs could be funded that provide kids with opportunities to socialize, study, and mature. Finally education could receive additional income for programs that prepare students to transitioning to the workplace and advanced education.

I firmly believe we need to restructure our laws to punish those harming our youth and become more lax on the activities of consenting adults. After a generation or two we will see a shift to more responsible adults.
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​Craft brewery slowdown

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 Owners says an arcane 2011 state law is impeding growth...

By most accounts, Wisconsin?s craft beer industry is still booming. It?s an economic development bright spot in a state struggling to create new jobs and boost private-sector investment.

But unfortunately, the number of new breweries opening in Wisconsin is now lagging the rest of the nation by some 50%, according to the latest figures from the Brewers Association, based in Boulder, Colo. And some entrepreneurs are blaming lawmakers for arcane rules slipped into the 2011 budget that make it harder for smaller players to expand or grow their business.

Ken Notes: We NEED and advocacy group for craft beer in Wisconsin. The industry will be huge!!!
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WEDC should have seen bread crumbs of Oscar Mayer closing, Mark Pocan says

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan said he thinks Wisconsin`s economic development agency should have seen signs leading to last week`s announcement of the impending closing of Oscar Mayer`s Madison plant.

When Oscar Mayer parent company Kraft completed a merger with Heinz in July, there were hints that changes were coming for Oscar Mayer.

And when Kraft Heinz announced 165 layoffs at the Oscar Mayer Madison corporate office in August, it was another sign of things to come, Pocan, a Democrat from Madison, said in an interview broadcast on WKOW-TV`s "Capitol City Sunday."

He said the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. should have picked up on them and made contact with the company to find out its plans for the Madison location....

Ken Notes: Why are not WEDC and Mark communicating with all major employees in the state and his district. It seems to me the company in this case was looking to consolidate for efficiencies and improvements. The Madison site did not offer what they needed and I am not sure cash was the issue. I have mentioned a few times that if we offered tax breaks based on new jobs we would create a level playing field for all companies in the state. Mark rather than blame WEDC, pick up a pen and draft meaningful legislation that creates real incentives for real jobs.
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Cap Times reporter Bryna Godar talks public market, Oscar Mayer closing on WORT

 Madison - 11/19/2015 With the impending closure of Madison`s Oscar Mayer plant, some in the city and state are turning to a planned public market as a needed boost for food-production jobs. Cap Times reporter Bryna Godar joined Kristian Knutsen on WORT`s In Our Backyard news program Tuesday evening to talk about what the public market entails, some of the debate over location and timing and whether Gov. Scott Walker might provide funding for the plan....

Ken Notes: If you Rotary or other group would like to have a discussion about these or other projects, give me a call. I will be happy to provide a little background and moderate. Remember your voice is needed to move these project forward...
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Cricket Design Works offers a Cool Workspace home away from home

 Madison - 12/10/2015 The Cricket Design Works office looks and feels like a modern urban loft apartment.

Light hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall and a handmade sliding barn door are among the d'cor choices that make the space feel more like a home than an office.

That lived-in feel was what appealed to Kristin Cricket Redman, founder of the visual communications agency. Redman had frequented the space, located at 1925 Monroe St., when it was a tea shop, and jumped on the chance to rent it when her growing agency was looking for a home in 2006....

Ken Notes: The photos HERE. ar fantastic. I love 100State but we could use some design sense and some comfortable work spaces. Greg I`ll bet we could tour this space for some ideas... Also having a dog in the office PERFECT!
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Scott Walker can do what he wants

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 In "Two Minutes with Mitch" local radio personality Mitch Henck says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans have the votes to do what they want...

Ken Notes: I wrote about the exact same thing in 2011. Right now, state has Team W, Team U and Team D; I am on Team J....
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MATC still pursuing plan to sell Downtown campus, grow on South Side

 Madison MATC - 10/29/2015 Madison Area Technical College is still eyeing a plan to sell its Downtown campus and shift much of its operations to the city's South Side, several months after the college's board deadlocked on the controversial proposal.

College officials have started a pair of studies - one to gauge developers - interest in buying its historic Downtown buildings, and another to see what sites could be home to its expanded presence on the South Side. They plan to bring a proposal back to the board next spring, a year after the first attempt failed to gain approval....

Ken Notes: Why not find a buyer/developer for the downtown property and put a package together for the board. Here is what what we have in mind - sell this for this - build this for this ---
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Cellular Dynamics lands big contract with a major pharmaceutical company

 Madison - 11/12/2015 Cellular Dynamics International will supply its stem cell products to Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche in a contract that could bring more than $80 million to Madison-based CDI and play a role in the addition of more than a dozen jobs.

The agreement is the largest single collaboration for CDI to date, said chairman and CEO Kaz Hirao, in a written statement....Cellular Dynamics has 156 employees, with 133 in Madison and 23 in Novato. Parker said the company hopes to be up to 175 by next March, with at least 15 of the new positions in Madison.

Ken Notes: Attention WEDC and Legislators one worth keeping. Tax credit for new jobs may do it???
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Madison one of 5 platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Communities

 Madison - 11/19/2015 After seven years of effort, Madison has become one of only five cities to reach platinum-level status as Bicycle Friendly Communities, the League of American Bicyclists announced Monday. Wisconsin's capital city joins Boulder and Fort Collins, Colorado; Davis, California; and Portland, Oregon, in achieving the top recognition awarded so far from the group's Bicycle Friendly Communities program. No city has reached the highest level possible, diamond....

Ken Notes: This is with a Mayor who once blogged about Bicycling Madison Style: As Dumb As It Gets... My guess is we will get to Diamond at some point...
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Madison holds off on police body cameras, will first look to build trust between police and community

 Madison - 11/19/2015 Following advice of a citizen-led panel, Madison police officers won't start wearing body cameras any time soon, the City Council decided Tuesday. Instead, the city will first focus on another citizen-led effort looking at how to build trust between police and the community, especially vulnerable populations. A body camera pilot program could be part of later efforts....

Ken Notes: Again Madison is a class act when it comes to policing...
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Scott Walker on Syrian refugees

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday acknowledged that legally, he cannot prevent Syrian refugees from entering Wisconsin, but said he has instructed his administration not to be involved in the process of bringing them to the state.

"Legally, I can`t put up a wall at the border," he told reporters.

Walker`s call to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Wisconsin came days after more than 120 people were killed in Paris, the result of coordinated terrorist attacks. The Islamic State has since claimed responsibility, prompting several states to say they would stop accepting Syrian refugees....

Ken Notes: I met my first Syrian at the King of Falafel on Park Street last night. If the rest can cook like he can I saw bring em in - it was delicious!!! The secret to fighting terrorism is know thy neighbor...
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Ryan wants complete alternative, not just anti-Obama stance

 National - 12/3/2015 In his first big political address as Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan said Republicans have to stand for more than just undoing what President Barack Obama has done.

"If we want to save the country, then we need a mandate from the people. And if we want a mandate, then we need to offer ideas," said Ryan, speaking from the Library of Congress across the street from the U.S. Capitol. ...

Ken Notes: Wow where is he from? Oh yea here. Think he could talk to the Governor?
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Stoughton District hosting listening sessions on old High School building

 Stoughton - 11/5/2015 Is it worth the time, money and effort to salvage and restore the old Stoughton High School? That?s the question Stoughton Area School District officials hope to answer, and are looking for peoples? opinions on what they should do. The district will host two listening sessions in November to gather public input about the future of the ?1892 building,? located at the corner of Forrest and North streets near River Bluff Middle School and the district administration building...

Ken Notes: If the structure is sound, why not lease or sell it as is to artists, or others looking for work or living space and then let them rehab the space according to code to address their needs.
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OPINION: Soglin slips in tackling homelessness issue

 Madison - 11/5/2015 Mayor Paul Soglin, since his landslide re-election victory in April 2015, has once again taken it upon himself to address Madison?s homeless problem with rhetoric rather than substantial policy. Over the summer, Mayor Soglin proposed a new city ordinance which would tackle problematic loitering and lodging in Madison?s Central Business District. While not directly mentioning the homeless, the ordinance, which Madison?s Common Council has since voted down, attempted to clear out downtown of individuals who were causing an undue nuisance to both city residents and the various businesses of downtown Madison....

Ken Notes: A very tough issue with not one but many solutions required. This will not be resolved until the homeless are a part of the solutions and not seen as the problem. Paul is at the very least calling attention to the issues, my guess is that he is hoping others will offer solutions...
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Growing pains: As Madison adds housing, neighbors fear zoning and established plans aren`t being honored

 Madison - 12/10/2015 Kitty Kocol and Carrie Rothburd aren't NIMBYs, they insist. The pair of south side residents are in favor of bringing affordable housing to their neighborhood and don't subscribe to the Not In My Backyard school of thought about development.

The disregard, however, they said that a proposed five-story apartment building on South Park Street has shown to the neighborhood plans and established zoning has been hard for them to stomach....

Ken Notes: We develop these plans and then shelve them only to dust them off when we don`t like a proposal. To work they need to be reviewed revised and a proactive part of encouraging development in the neighborhood.
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Local community leaders prepare to rock in lip sync battle for Madison schools

 Madison - 11/5/2015 If you?d like to see local community leaders and principals tap their inner rock star, Friday night is your chance.

In the first-ever Lip Sync for Schools, hosted by the Foundation for Madison?s Public Schools, community leaders and educators will take part in lip sync battles and audience members will pick winners throughout the night. The event, from 7 p.m. to 11p.m. at the Brink Lounge, 701 E. Washington Ave., raises money for students and public education in Madison. The night will feature a silent auction, cash bar, photo booth and food. Tickets are $40....

Ken Notes: Michael and Tim will be fun to watch. Next year let me know if you need a juggler...
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OPINION: Let`s have an `extraordinary` session on Wisconsin job creation

 Wisconsin - 11/19/2015 When the Legislature convenes an extraordinary session, it should be focused on urgent issues that will improve the lives of everyday citizens across Wisconsin.

Yet the Assembly Republicans` plan for their upcoming extraordinary session is to focus not on jobs, middle-class empowerment or any other issues that represent the top priorities of the people of our state, but on allowing more secretive money in politics, enabling more corporate influence over our government and increasing opportunities for political corruption. ...

Ken Notes: When you begin an editorial with a bashing of the opposition who are in the majority do you really expect to accomplish much. I want to see a bipartisan group come forward with some sound ideas on moving the economy forward.
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OneNeck expands Fitchburg data facility

 Fitchburg - 11/19/2015 Eric Patterson waited for one door to shut behind him before scanning his ID card and leaning toward a retinal scanning machine to get through the next. Behind that second door were more security features, and the data center's prized possessions: servers. Companies come to us when they have, at the very core of their business, some sort of technology server or system that absolutely, positively can't ever go down, Patterson, OneNeck IT Solutions' facility manager, explained. Those companies realize that if their server goes down, they simply have to tell their customers, Sorry, you can't make any transactions.That goes over pretty poorly...

Ken Notes: With more threats to major metros Madison may be perfect for many more of these...
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MATC sees interest from developers in buying Downtown campus site and expansion in South Side

 Madison - 12/3/2015 Developers have responded to a Madison Area Technical College request for interest in purchasing the college's Downtown campus and in providing sites to shift those operations to the city's South Side, president Jack E. Daniels said Wednesday. The college, which made informal requests for developer information earlier this year, received responses from 15 developers interested in purchasing the Downtown campus at 211 N. Carroll St., just off Capitol Square, and from eight parties interested in selling or leasing land and/or buildings for expanded operations on the South Side, Daniels said.

Daniels has called for a shift of operations, saying it would cost millions of dollars to repair the aging Downtown campus and that MATC should further invest in South Madison, where the college currently operates a small campus inside the Village on Park shopping Center, 2300 S. Park St....

Ken Notes: This make much sense to me, put the entire project in front of the board and community and you will get a different opinion - trust me!
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Agricultural education a focus of new county park plan

 12/10/2015 A new plan for more than 300 acres of donated farmland outlines long-term plans to create a hybrid park and agricultural education center in southeastern Dane County.... I think it can be more than a Dane County park. I think it can be a regional attraction and an economic engine, said Greg Markle, executive director of the Madison-based nonprofit group Operation Fresh Start.

Ken Notes: I agree...
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Project of the Week - WEDC

 MADISON- WEDC...

Ken Notes: A weekly feature with links to all the stories and notes on a specific project or topic. Or you can search for your favorite project here.
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Madison Chocolate Company to seek new space

 Madison - 10/29/2015 Madison Chocolate Company, which had originally planned to share a space with Macha Tea Company on East Johnson Street, has made other plans to move into a different space elsewhere.

"Unfortunately, we realized that there was not enough kitchen space for both businesses to grow effectively over the next several years," said Megan Hile, the owner of Madison Chocolate Co....

Ken Notes: Heads up let`s get her a great space asap....
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Apple TV brings iPhone-like apps to the big screen

 World - 10/29/2015 It turns out that Apple`s streaming-TV box - aptly named Apple TV - isn`t just for streaming anymore. Its latest incarnation, which ships this week, offers on the big screen just about anything you could previously only do on an iPhone or iPad.

Whether that`s good may depend on whether you really want to buy shoes, browse home listings or read comic books on your TV. The new Apple TV looks to be a capable device for those purposes, although it`s not flawless. Its streaming-TV features also trump those of its predecessor....

Ken Notes: Watch this market space it will be huge very quickly.
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OPINION: How is your meat raised?

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 Following significant pressure from consumers nationwide, Subway just served up a major victory for public health by announcing that its restaurants will no longer sell meat raised with antibiotics. This comes on the heels of similar commitments by McDonald?s, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A and others.

So, why should this matter to you?

It matters because the overuse of antibiotics in Big Ag makes each and every one of us less safe. Factory farms that supply companies like McDonalds and Subway give their livestock antibiotics on a routine basis. In fact, 70 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. go to livestock ? most of the time these animals aren?t even sick ? to make them gain weight and to prevent disease caused by unhealthy and unsanitary conditions on factory farms....

Ken Notes: Wisconsin and the Driftless region could become world leaders in organic produce, beef, pork and poultry. We need a regional or state effort to promote and market the products. I would love to see a Milk Marketing Board for Organics, and Craft Beer.
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State funds for climate change research sponsor criticized

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk condemned the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands? use of interest earnings toward UW-Madison?s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in a Monday press release.

The BCPL manages roughly $1 billion worth of investments in acres of Wisconsin land and a trust fund which distributes educational grants throughout the state, including the Nelson Institute since 2009. According to Adamczyk, who oversees the agency, the trust is prohibited from distributing funds to any institution except the state?s teaching schools.

?In my opinion not only is this unconstitutional, but also improper,? Adamczyk said in the release. ?This money should be given as general aid to the UW System or designated for teacher training as prescribed in the state Constitution.?...

Ken Notes: The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands for the most par does fly under the radar screen, but I can not agree with only funding those issues that we have no political concerns over. Also Read: Divided lands board delays hiring decision for anonymous candidates... This should relay be a NONPARTISAN appointment.
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Epic Systems insiders say so-called feuds are greatly exaggerated

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 Rumors of feuds between Epic and other electronic health care records vendors like Cerner are greatly exaggerated, according to company insiders.

Those supposed feuds have been made famous by several high-profile media reports, including an article last month in Mother Jones, a liberal-leaning newsmagazine. That article defined the CommonWell Health Alliance, a trade group of which Cerner is a member, as a coalition of Epic's rivals.

The fact is, we've made good with CommonWell, Peter DeVault, vice president and director of interoperability at Epic, said at a panel during the Disruptive Healthcare Conference in Madison on Tuesday. Executives and healthcare providers representing Epic, Cerner, UW Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin were on the panel....

Ken Notes: This is not new or worthy of press. Companies compete and it is not always pretty. A good friend of mine was CEO of WordPerfect (anyone remember WordPerfect) and Microsoft declared war on the product. To this day I use Libre and Open Office rather than MS Word. Business is tough and to survive you have to be good affordable and quick to respond to market demands. EPIC is all of the above and then some. Others will either keep them on their toes or eat them. I hope they become to big to swallow...
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Developer may demolish long-vacant building near UW-Madison for housing project

 Madison - 11/19/2015 Despite demand for housing, a seven-story building with rooms to hold more than 300 beds near the heart of UW-Madison and a stone's throw from Lake Mendota has sat vacant for years.

But that soon may change....

Ken Notes: Pricey GAP for these projects...
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Badgers men`s basketball: UW goes overtime to beat Syracuse

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Say this for a University of Wisconsin men's basketball team that is lacking in a lot of areas at this stage of the season, with experience topping that list: Just when it might seem like they're down for the count, the Badgers have shown the ability to pick themselves up off the mat and continue fighting. UW has followed all three of its losses this season with victories, the most surprising of which came Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.

Ken Notes: Not development? tough it is my publication and this is great news. A young Badger team capable of greatness - if not this year soon - Now that is DEVELOPMENT...
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Madison landlord Ray Peterson aims to sell 48 properties following court ruling

 Madison - 12/10/2015 Forty-eight properties throughout the city of Madison could soon be for sale as landlord Ray Peterson deals with a court order to bring them up to city standards.

On Friday, a Dane County judge said that 45 of 48 properties Peterson owns constitute a public nuisance, ordering him to hire a professional property management company within 30 days to bring the properties up to code.

Peterson, 90, said he instead plans to sell all 48 of his properties as soon as possible. About a dozen are already listed with Stark Company Realtors including one where the front door hasn't opened for months and Peterson said another dozen will soon be listed with First Weber Realtors....

Ken Notes: While Mayor in Neenah we had a similar situation and were able to buy the properties as a bundle and then re-market them ensuring the type of development or adaptive reuses we wanted. We also could allow existing tenants options which included free rent for bringing the properties we wanted to save up to code. We had a number of (crafty unemployed) types applying to move in and make improvements which we inspected...
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Developer asks for $1 million in TIF for Oregon hotel

 Oregon - 12/3/2015 A developer proposing to build Oregon's first hotel has asked the city for $1 million in public assistance for the project.

S&L Hospitality, of Verona, introduced a proposal last month to build a 75-room Sleep Inn by Choice Hotels at the corner of Janesville and Park streets, just off Highway 14 in southeast Oregon....

Ken Notes: One million on a less than 5 million project is very high, of course you have to ask but I am a 10% guideline guy and if they can make an epic connection they should be ok with half of what they are asking. Also where is the gap and "but for" on this project???
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Cap Times` Evjue Foundation has awarded more than $53M to the community since 1970

 Madison - 12/10/2015 The Evjue Foundation, Inc. is the charitable arm of The Capital Times, a progressive voice for news, information and opinion for more than 97 years. William T. Evjue founded the paper in 1917 to ensure that those without the power of wealth and station would have a champion in the never-ending quest for clean and just government. The foundation provides funds derived from the profits of The Capital Times to many educational, cultural, and charitable causes that add so much to the quality of life in Madison and Dane County. Since the foundation`s creation in 1970, it has distributed more than $53 million to those causes....

Ken Notes: THANK YOU!!!!
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For clean government, Wisconsin`s worst week ever

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 It`s been 30 years since my workdays were spent reporting from the state Capitol, so long ago that none of the 20-some journalists with whom I shared the cramped, communal Capitol press room remain. Those were the days of Tony Earl and Tommy Thompson and Tom Loftus, an era of spirited but civil policy arguments followed by inevitable compromise. That culture of shared decisions functioned pretty well....

Ken Notes: Wow he is right and we are going to suffer because of it. Also do not point fingers here because everyone is guilty. We refuse to talk about compromise or middle ground. We are focused on the next election cycle and shifting the balance. When it happens we all tend to regret the outcomes. Paul goes on to blame the republicans and no doubt in the future we will blame the democrats, the problem is we need to blame ourselves...
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New Promega board rejects hostile takeover attempt

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 Promega Corp.`s new board of directors is turning down a high-priced takeover attempt by two stockholders who want to buy the company and oust its founder and CEO Bill Linton. Ted Kellner and Nathan Brand submitted an offer in July to buy the stock of the privately owned Fitchburg company for $625 a share - two and a half times as much as Promega offered in a stock buy-back in 2014. Their proposal values the company at about $1.25 billion.

The board, most of whose members were appointed last month, "has carefully evaluated the proposal and voted to reject the offer," Promega general counsel Dan Ghoca said in a Wednesday email to the State Journal....

Ken Notes: This would be a great opportunity for Wisconsin to step up and work with Promega to keep them in the state. WEDC could offer a loan program in exchange for Wisconsin jobs. The loan could be secured, and the risk shared with other institutions. WEDC would even benefit from the program a bit. Also Promega could also be a partner is the wet lab research space I mention below!
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Uber for environmental sciences: Startups strut their stuff at Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 The ?Expedia for bus travel,? ?Netflix for continuing medical education? and ?Uber for environmental sciences? were all featured at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium on Wednesday afternoon. (Those are Wisconsin-based startups Tixora, AltusCampus and Pegasus Sustainability Solutions, for the record.) Twenty-eight startups, 19 of them from Wisconsin, gave five-minute rapid-fire presentations to potential investors at the annual startup-centric event...
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Manure digester upgrade funding could jeopardize future projects

 Dane County - 11/5/2015 The future of using manure digesters to clean Dane County?s lakes could be in jeopardy if funding for a technology that further processes discharge from digesters is not added back into the 2016 budget, supporters say.

The county?s environmental committee voted 4-0 to remove from the 2016 capital budget $500,000 to install so-called nutrient concentration technology at a county-sponsored manure digester in the town of Springfield that would remove nearly all lake-fouling phosphorus from liquid manure while producing potable water and concentrated fertilizer....

Ken Notes: The most difficult part of budgeting is to step back and look at all the needs at once and compare the apples to the oranges. It is rarely done well and often is the cause for increases. Our elected officials our never trained in this so they do their best to advocate for their projects...
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Promega shareholders meet amid growing concerns in battle for control of company

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 The battle over control of Promega Corp., one of the Madison area's premier biotechnology companies, escalated Friday as shareholders gathered for two meetings, called by opposing sides, to hash out the conflict.

At least 80 shareholders convened at Wyndham Garden Hotel in Fitchburg and 50 more listened by phone as dissident stockholders Ted Kellner, of Milwaukee, and Nathan Brand, of Miami, laid out their concerns to fellow investors....

Ken Notes: I am a huge Linton fan and much of the companies success is on his shoulders. He also seems committed to do something great for the world and the business model and this will clash. I hope they can bridge the gap but it does seem large...
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Concerns about tainted Wisconsin drinking water drive week`s most-read story

 Madison - 11/19/2015 Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents are at risk of consuming drinking water tainted with lead, nitrate, disease-causing bacteria and viruses, according to a report by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Lynda Cochart`s water from the private well on her Kewaunee County farm was so poisoned by salmonella, nitrate, E. coli and manure-borne viruses that one researcher compared the results to contamination in a Third World country....

Ken Notes: Huge issue!!
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Bunker Labs @ Wisconsin aims to support veteran entrepreneurs

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 UW-Madison began a partnership Nov. 10 with Bunker Labs @ Wisconsin, an outlet that allows veterans pursue entrepreneurial interests in high-tech startups.Bunker Labs is located at University Research Park in Madison and is currently recruiting 10 to 20 veterans with strong ideas for a technological-based endeavor, according to a UW-Madison release. Executive Director of Bunker Labs @ Wisconsin and U.S. Army veteran Michael Ertmer said the characteristics maintained by soldiers often mirror the personality traits of entrepreneurs. ...
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Madison Development Corporation adds affordability to housing boom

 Madison - 12/10/2015 VIDEO - Madison housing mix needs more income diversity...

Ken Notes: Well said, again let me mention acquiring existing units and then using them for planed development. They private sector will look at the best return on their investment which will not be affordable housing. Proactive rather than reactive...
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Mid-life crisis leads to opening of Lego trade store in Fitchburg

 Fitchburg - 12/10/2015 Owen and Elliott Sustarich pounded on a glass door in Fitchburg, waiting for their grandmother to open it so they could get to the bounty that was behind it: Legos.

Lots of them.

All day, everyday, said Bricks and Minifigs owner Dan Jacobsohn with a smile. It's totally awesome.

The Sustarich kids, from Chicago, were visiting their grandparents in Fitchburg, and Bricks and Minifigs, which opened Oct. 24, was a perfect destination for them to both play with Legos and find new and used sets to take home....

Ken Notes: Christmas Legos Local Perfect!!!
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ASM hears updates on latest Campus Master Plan

 Madison - 11/12/2015 The Associated Students of Madison Coordinating Council heard updates Wednesday on the 2015 Campus Master Plan from Director of Campus Planning and Landscape Architecture Gary Brown.
The Campus Master Plan is created every 10 years by the Facilities Planning and Management team and the university community. It aims to guide campus growth and development through enhancing green spaces, managing future building sites and addressing transportation, circulation and parking issues, according to its website....

Ken Notes: The 2015 Campus Master Plan is HERE.
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As deficit looms in Wisconsin, Minnesotans fight over how to spend $1.9 billion surplus

 Wisconsin / Minnesota - 12/10/2015 Wisconsin may have a firm hold on Paul Bunyan`s Axe, but Minnesota has the Badger State beat with its budget surplus. While Wisconsin`s budget, enacted in July, sets the state up for a $210 million structural deficit, legislators across the Mississippi are arguing over how to spend a $1.9 billion surplus....

Ken Notes: OUCH...
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Proposed county budget amendments address manure dispute, racial disparities

 Dane County - 11/12/2015 County officials are still mulling whether to restore $500,000 in funding for a largely untried technology that supporters say could reduce phosphorus runoff into Dane County's lakes. A motion to restore the funds for a nutrient content system at the town of Springfield manure digester is one of 16 capital and 39 operating budget amendments the county's Personnel and Finance Committee will consider when it meets at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. A large number of other proposed amendments to County Executive Joe Parisi's preliminary budget are intended to address homelessness, cost of living increases for county service providers, and recommendations outlined in a report on racial disparities and mental health problems in the Dane County Jail....
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Dayton, lawmakers split on what to do with $1.9 billion surplus

 Minnesota - 12/10/2015 A strong state economy helped double Minnesota's projected budget surplus to $1.9 billion, setting off a new political battle over how to carve up the windfall in an election year.

The credit belongs to the people of Minnesota and the businesses who have decided to locate or expand here, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said after the state budget and economic forecast was released Thursday. Now it's our responsibility to use that money in ways that are going to better the future of our state....
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Resource of the week - 2014 City of Madison Project Review and Other Links

 Wisconsin - 2014 City of Madison Project Review and Other Links...

Ken Notes: A weekly link to one of the states Economic Development Resources. Or list all of the state's resources here in the WDNews Toolbox.
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New Avenue Club bubbling up with spirit

 Madison - 10/29/2015 Food Fight isn't in the habit of buying existing restaurants. In fact, when it bought the beloved Avenue Bar in 2011, it was a first for the restaurant group.

They made some initial changes in 2013, promising more later. Then they closed the restaurant in late May for a total overhaul. It reopened in early September to a lot of shocked former fans....

Ken Notes: I love Food Fight and all their restaurants. I an not wait to try this one...
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Health apps and beer distribution systems part of Madison startup incubator`s graduating class

 Madison - 11/5/2015 Justin Hartzman and his business partners needed some convincing to take part in gener8tor?s startup incubator program.

Based in Toronto, Canada, Hartzmann had to travel more than 20 hours to meet with the gener8tor team during the incubator?s competitive application process. (According to gener8tor, they receive more than 500 applicants for each session, which admits just five startup businesses.)

Gener8tor, a startup accelerator based in Madison and Milwaukee, provides startups a 12-week crash course in business development, providing mentorship and facilitating connections. Gener8tor also invests up to $140,000 per business during each of its sessions....
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Kraft Heinz will seek buyer for Madison Oscar Mayer facility

 Madison - 11/12/2015 Kraft Heinz will seek a buyer for the Madison headquarters of Oscar Mayer a move that could possibly keep the facility operational, the company and Gov. Scott Walker's office said Friday.

The revelation comes after Kraft Heinz said Wednesday that it would close the plant and put about 1,000 area workers out of a job, and amid questions about whether Walker's administration and others did enough to keep the iconic brand in the Capitol city....

Ken Notes: I am sure the would love to sell the site rather that clean it up!
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OPINION: UW-Madison can help displaced Oscar Mayer workers

 Wisconsin - 11/19/2015 When Oscar Mayer announced the closing of its Madison headquarters, I mourned the loss of 1,000 jobs. But I feel confident the displaced workers can land on their feet, given the range of programs in the Madison area for job training and searching...

Ken Notes: Add Tech, DWD, WEDC, and others to the mix as well.
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GOP lawmakers propose bill shrinking natural resource areas

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Republican lawmakers began circulating a bill Monday that would ease the regulatory path for development on bodies of water, saying the changes would streamline state regulations and boost the economy. Sen. Frank Lasee and Rep. Adam Jarchow wrote in a memo to their fellow legislators seeking co-sponsors that the bill would facilitate development, leading to more jobs. "This (legislation) focuses on cleaning up the agency regulations and state laws that have been making Wisconsin less competitive for both residential and commercial growth," the lawmakers wrote....
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Stoughton Commission tables plans that seeks a laundry list of zoning waivers

 Stoughton - 11/12/2015 Though the Planning Commission seemed to like the idea of a Dunkin Donuts at Main and Gjertson streets, it tabled a plan that seemed too big for the space at its Nov. 9 meeting.

The owners of the BP gas station called the plan a dream project that included the demolition of the car wash, expansion of its retail space for a possible alcohol sales and the addition of a Dunkin Donuts franchise. Neighbors, however, expressed concern with a long list of zoning plan deviations needed in order to allow the project to pass muster with the commission.

The owner of the building immediately to the south called the list of deviations from planning code egregious. Community members and commissioners alike shared concerns about the impact a drive-through window would have on traffic, particularly with regards to children and other pedestrians....
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City of Verona: Commission says Paoli, Candinas projects need more work

 VERONA - 12/10/2015 Two controversial apartment-anchored developments got clear directives Monday from the city Plan Commission to come up with a new plan.

Each of them the Trail Edge development on Paoli Street and the Candinas development off Old PB has been the subject of at least two neighborhood meetings, but neither has yet managed to win over those residents.

Though the Paoli project was the subject of a public hearing and could still win approval by the Common Council, such a reversal of a unanimous rejection by the commission would be rare. The Candinas project, meanwhile, remains in a concept plan state, meaning the commission and council are not even supposed to take votes....
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Windsor residents overwhelmingly vote to become a village

 Windsor - 11/5/2015 Town of Windsor residents embraced the chance to reinvent their community Tuesday, voting overwhelmingly to incorporate as a village.

The referendum, which was billed as a way to protect the community?s boundaries and tax base from annexation, passed 1,816 to 57....

Ken Notes: I see this starting a trend. Town of Verona may be next.
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Target closing 13 stores nationwide citing falling profits

 National - 11/5/2015 The Minneapolis-based retailer said a decision to close a store usually follows several years of decreasing profitability. The retail giant plans to close the stores on Jan. 30, 2016. The 13 are among Target`s nearly 1,800 stores in the U.S.

Target was hurt by a massive credit-card breach before Christmas 2013 that sent shoppers temporarily fleeing. The company also botched a major expansion into Canada and pulled the plug on that earlier this year....

Ken Notes: The state and larger communities may want to think about adaptive reuses of big box as the national retail footprint is changed by eCommerce and competition. We need to require developers to reuse or redevelop buildings after they are vacated.
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MGM Resorts to shift casino assets to new property company

 National - 10/29/2015 MGM Resorts International plans to spin off part of its casino-resort real estate into a separate company that will lease the properties back to MGM to boost value for shareholders and give both companies more flexibility to grow. The Las Vegas-based casino giant announced early Thursday it would create a real estate investment trust, or REIT, called MGM Growth Properties LLC that would own 10 of its casino-resorts and assume $4 billion in debt.

In a conference call with analysts, MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said his company would own a substantial interest of about 70 percent in the new one after the company goes public with trading expected to start in the first quarter of 2016....

Ken Notes: REITs are back and bigger than ever!!!
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Sen. Tammy Baldwin calls for federal investigation into some WEDC loans

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is urging the nation's top prosecutor to investigate the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.'s handling of loans in three separate cases in which taxpayer funds have yet to be repaid....

Ken Notes: Really OUR Senator shooting our businesses. I need to point out that a lot of troubled loans were made under previous administrations as well. We need to fix the problems not shoot the wounded (my apologies for using the same bad analogy twice in one newsletter. We need new politicians across the board this partisanship has fractured our ability to function...
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Madison City Council passes 2016 budget, fast-tracks public market

 Madison - 11/12/2015 After seven hours of debate, the Madison City Council approved the 2016 budget early Wednesday, choosing a flexible financing approach for massive Judge Doyle Square project and advancing a $14 million public market as soon as possible.

All told, the $290.1 million operating budget will preserve basic services, boost employee pay, provide more opportunities to poor and minority residents and cost the average homeowner $78.80 more in city taxes next year....

Ken Notes: Just a little note because I like the budget, but why do we say it will cost the average homeowner $78.80 when the figure never goes away. That means it costs 788.00 over ten years and thousands over the ownership of your home. I think we should cap the property tax rate say at $ 25 per $ 1,000 forever. Need more money - work to increase home values or bring in new construction.
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Bunker Labs helps veterans start companies; Beekeeper Data gets funding

 Wisconsin - 11/19/2015 Veterans who want to start businesses in the Madison area will be able to get a helping hand from Bunker Labs, a Chicago nonprofit that started a branch here....Beekeeper Data, a Madison startup that describes itself as like MailChimp with data, is getting its first outside funding $550,000, mainly from Wisconsin Investment Partners, a group of Madison angel investors; Serra Ventures, Champaign, Illinois; and the BrightStar Wisconsin foundation...
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Owner hopes new hotel at site of old Expo Inn could be catalyst for South Side

 Madison - 12/3/2015 Shariff Syed's roots in the Madison area run deep. Since moving here in 1990, he has bought or operated a number of businesses, including motels in Wisconsin Dells and Cambridge, two coin-operated laundromats, liquor stores and other area business rental properties. Syed, who came to the U.S. from Kuwait but has Pakistani heritage, also is part-owner of the Madistan restaurant and former owner of restaurants Madison Masala and Mad Towne Fried Chicken....

Ken Notes: We need a beltline plan to redevelop the corridor. There are a lot of potential projects that could sprout in the corridor...
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Proposed state legislation would devastate historic preservation, critics say

 Wisconsin - 12/10/2015 A proposal by state Republican lawmakers to enhance property owners' rights would devastate historic preservation efforts in Madison and across the state, critics say.

A sweeping bill by Rep. Rob Brooks, R-Saukville, and Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere, would prohibit municipalities from designating properties as historic landmarks without consent of the owner. And it would ban municipalities from requiring or prohibiting any actions by owners related to preservation of the historic or aesthetic value of the property without owner consent.

The proposal wouldn't pre-empt local historic preservation ordinances but effectively make them voluntary, Madison assistant city attorney John Strange said....

Ken Notes: This is a huge issue without simple solutions. We now have an empowered historic preservation group who can impact projects regardless of economic outcomes. Now we want to allow owners rights and economic drivers to ignore historic preservation. We NEED a policy that protects both the history and economics of property development. There are great examples of where this works unfortunately there are even more where it does not.
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Madison musicians, venue managers weigh in on - live music tip - debate

 Madison - 10/29/2015 The last french fry has been eaten, the final chords strummed on the guitar: an evening of dining and live music in Madison is coming to close. As you recline back into your chair and glance at the bill, you feel a slight jolt as you notice an additional line on the bill: - live music tip.

A tip for the the band, situated right underneath the well-established waitstaff tip on your bill, may be coming to some Madison establishments, as the practice makes headlines and spurs social media debates around the country...

Ken Notes: A better idea is to charge an extra $ .50 when a band is playing and pay the band $1.00 for every drink sold. More fair across the board and the band looks less like beggars.
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Xbox visionary to visit Madison next year to meet with students, programmers

 Madison - 11/5/2015 A man instrumental to the creation of the Xbox gaming system is coming to Madison early next year.

Robert Bach, former president of the entertainment and devices division at Microsoft, will be speaking to UW-Madison students, youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and employees at Hardin Design and Development, a local software development company, on January 28, event organizers announced this week.

?He?s a visionary,? said Boys and Girls Club president Michael Johnson, who facilitated the visit. ?When I heard him speak, I loved how he talked about organizations creating their ?North Star,? and working hard to get where they want to be.?...
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Feigin: It will be challenging to complete Bucks arena for $500 million

 Milwaukee - 11/5/2015 Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin said the Bucks could exceed their $500 million budget for the downtown arena project, but did not give a specific dollar amount of the possible cost overruns.

During an ?On The Issues? lunch event at Marquette University Law School moderator Mike Gousha asked Feigin whether the arena can still be built for $500 million ? the Bucks` target figure since they announced plans for the new arena....

Ken Notes: really????
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Two long-vacant eateries get new tenants

 11/5/2015 Noosh, the eagerly awaited second restaurant by Laila Borokhim, will officially open Nov. 12 at 1920 S. Park St. Borokhim has served dinners there already, and will host a special dinner featuring lamb from Mapleton Mynd Shropshires of Stoughton on Nov. 5, but regular hours won?t kick in until next week. Noosh will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sun. for brunch....Downtown, the storefront that was once home to Charley?s Chocolates as well as various incarnations of the Baker?s Window at 122 State St. is reopening as a fast-food Caribbean restaurant serving pulled pork, jerk chicken and other island dishes, says building owner Harold Langhammer. Hours for the new restaurant, which does not yet have a name, have yet to be determined....
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Turnover at WEDC continues with 3 vice presidents announcing departure last week

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 The state's job-creation agency continued to shed top executives with the announced departure of three vice presidents over the past week.

On Friday, new CEO Mark Hogan informed the WEDC board that Brandon Duck, the board's fifth chief financial officer in the four years since its creation, is leaving after seven months to take a leadership position with an international development nonprofit group in Washington, D.C....
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Cafe Hollander drawing crowds for a reason

 Madison - 11/19/2015 Like a lot of eagerly awaited new places, Cafe Hollander has been mobbed since it opened. Friends reported showing up one Friday and encountering a 90-minute wait for dinner. Others I?ve talked to have faced an hour-and-45-minute wait. Since the Milwaukee-based Lowlands Group opened one of its Belgian-inspired restaurants Oct. 19 behind Hilldale Shopping Center, business has been brisk. It doesn?t take reservations....

Ken Notes: Cool photo...
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Property taxes to rise slightly under 2016 budget approved by Dane County Board

 Dane County - 11/19/2015 The Dane County Board approved a 2016 budget Monday that increases funding for homeless services and affordable housing, expands mental health programming and begins chipping away at recommendations in a report on addressing racial disparities in Dane County Jail. Supervisors approved the $567.4 million operating budget in a 33-3 vote. ...
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Badger Tavern takes the place of Tony Frank`s, serving classic burgers and fish fry

 Madison - 12/3/2015 The new Badger Tavern has been open for three weeks, but to Mike Franklin, it already feels like five years. "We didn't advertise, we just unlocked the door and people have come back," said Franklin, who opened his pub at 1612 Seminole Highway on Nov. 9. "We`ve been busy since the day we opened." Franklin and his brother, Mark Franklin, bought the venerable Tony Frank`s Tavern from the bank after the 86-year-old business went into foreclosure. They`ve kept much of the decor the same, but have given the place a deep cleaning and replaced much of the kitchen equipment...

Ken Notes: Welcome Back!!!
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Effort to help vet entrepreneurs seeks high ground in Wisconsin

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 The Greatest Generation that won World War II wasn't just great because of what they did while in uniform. When they returned from military service, they also sparked a peacetime economic boom that still echoes today. Nearly half of World War II veterans who came home in the 1940s started their own businesses. Today, veterans returning from the Middle East and other deployments in a still-dangerous world are aiming for a startup boom of their own. This month's launch of Bunker Labs in Madison, the creation of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce in Milwaukee and the introduction of the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act of 2015 in Congress are examples of efforts to help returning vets find a job --- often by creating their own....

Ken Notes: Good Read!
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Hotel planned at Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue

 Milwaukee - 12/3/2015 The First Financial Centre, located at the northeast corner of Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue, is under contract to be sold to a developer who is planning to convert the vacant office space in the building into a hotel, according to numerous commercial real estate sources. ...

Ken Notes: attention Wisconsin this building is a lot like DHFS - I`m just saying...
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Key city commission supports Far West Side homeless housing project

 Madison - 12/10/2015 A city-sponsored development intended to provide new housing opportunities for homeless families will go to the City Council with support from a key Madison committee....
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2015 Verona Progress

 VERONA - 12/10/2015 Verona continues to be a busy place...The City of Verona con-tinues to be an attractive place for people to live and for new development. I consistently hear that people are drawn to Verona for our safe streets, great schools, and close proxim-ity to Madison...

Ken Notes: Nice Report!
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Gateway Plaza would link downtown to lakefront

 Milwaukee - 10/29/2015 A new parklike public plaza, designed to make the lakefront area near Discovery World, Maier Festival Park and other attractions more welcoming and accessible to downtown Milwaukee, would be built with private and public funds under a proposal unveiled Tuesday. The Lakefront Gateway Plaza would replace about 1 acre of vacant green space on the east side of Lincoln Memorial Drive, just west of Discovery World. The plaza would be just across the street from the planned Couture apartment high-rise and possible future Johnson Controls Inc. downtown office tower. The plaza would feature a fountain area that would double as winter ice-skating rinks, as well as trees, shrubs, benches and paths. It would connect to the west side of Lincoln Memorial Drive with a pedestrian bridge, and with an extension of E. Clybourn St....

Ken Notes: Madison should do this over John Nolen Drive...
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Wisconsin Builders Association names new executive director

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 The Wisconsin Builders Association has appointed Brad Boycks as the association's new executive director.
Boycks has worked for the association since April 2004, first serving as the association?s director of political affairs, then as the vice president of advocacy since 2007....
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Mandel Group moves into Kansas City market

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Milwaukee‐based developer Mandel Group, Inc. has continued its expansion outside of the metro Milwaukee Market, completing the acquisition of two apartment buildings in Kansas totaling 918 units....

Ken Notes: Mr. Mandel we would love a project or two in Madison....
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Land and Space

 Milwaukee - 1/1/2020 Journal Sentinel business reporter Tom Daykin talks about commercial real estate and development, including stores, hotels, offices, condos, apartments and industrial buildings...

Ken Notes: Journal Sentinel limits the number of "articles" you can access online without a subscription, so if you have only have a few (20 / Month) to read -- READ THIS. Tom Daykin is the source for ED news in MKE. This is a permanent link to articles in his blog which is updated daily. The article links also work...


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Johnson Controls predicts record 2016 profits

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Leaders at Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. this morning predicted record profits and higher revenues in 2016 at its Analyst Day in New York City...The company is in the process of spinning off its Automotive Experience business into a new, publicly traded company, which it now expects will be complete by Oct. 3, 2016...

Ken Notes: Attention Wisconsin reach out NOW and ask how we can help them grow. Or we can watch them grow elsewhere!!!
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Greater Milwaukee Committee forming downtown development plan

 Milwaukee - 11/12/2015 The Greater Milwaukee Committee's Downtown Task Force, launched earlier this year, has contracted with urban planning consultant Toni Griffin as it evaluates the challenges and opportunities facing Milwaukee?s downtown....
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Walker`s Point buildings sold to Indiana group for future development

 Milwaukee - 11/19/2015 Three buildings in Walker's Point were sold to an Indiana developer through a foreclosure auction for $2.2 million, according to state real estate records. The company, Cedar View Management, purchased 129-133 W. Pittsburgh Ave., from Olson RE, LLC. The buildings, which are five, four and two stories tall, were built in the 1890s. The three buildings have a combined 85,580-square feet....
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Milwaukee NARI names new executive director

 Wisconsin - 11/12/2015 Diane Wellhouse has been named executive director of the Milwaukee chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Wellhouse, who most recently served as vice president of operations and design for her family's Fox Valley business, Welhouse Construction Services, LLC, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization as well as strategic planning.
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New amphitheater planned for Washington County Fair

 Washington County - 12/10/2015 West Bend Mutual Insurance donated $600,000 for stage ...West Bend Mutual Insurance has donated $600,000 for a new amphitheater stage at Washington County Fair Park.

The stage, to be named, the Silver Lining Amphitheater, is part of a plan by Washington County to upgrade the facilities at its fair park in West Bend and attract new talent to the venue. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2016 and be completed for the 2016 fair.
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Dohmen purchases second Third Ward building

 Milwaukee - 10/29/2015 An affiliate of The Dohmen Company has purchased a 12,000 square foot building at 200 N. Jefferson Street near company's Third Ward corporate headquarters.

The buyer, 200 North Jefferson LLC, purchased the building from ATID Investments, LLP for $1.65 million, according to state real estate records....
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Craft brewery planned for Menomonee Valley

 Milwaukee Area - 11/5/2015 A craft brewery is planned at a former factory in the Menomonee Valley.

Third Space Brewing, 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., will include a sampling and tasting room and have an outdoor beer garden when it opens in summer 2016.

Future plans call for an event space and revitalization of an old train dock on the property, said Kevin Wright, brewery owner....
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Hampton Inn Milwaukee Airport sold

 Milwaukee - 11/12/2015 The Hampton Inn Milwaukee Airport Hotel on College Avenue has sold to an Illinois company for $6.6. The Raymond Group sold the 104-room, 170,799-square-foot hotel to Villa Park, Ill.,-based MKE Hospitality LLC. The three-story property is assessed at $7 million....
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Whats Up Downtown Green Bay --

 GREEN BAY - 7/24/2014 Green Bay Updates...

Ken Notes: Read this Green Bay is a market I often miss but Crystal Osman has a weekly that should help...
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Graef team design selected for Lakefront Gateway Plaza

 Milwaukee - 10/29/2015 The design for the Lakefront Gateway Plaza project that was created by a team led by Milwaukee-based engineering firm Graef was selected by a group of downtown and lakefront stakeholders as the winning design for the project, officials announced today.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the winning design by the Graef team.

Ken Notes: Cool
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Mount Pleasant real estate activity booming this week

 Mount Pleasant 11/5/2015 Two multi-million dollar commercial real estate transactions have closed in Mount Pleasant.

Outlook Development group sold Racine Dental Group?s Mount Pleasant 57,000-square-foot office building, 1101 S Airline Road, for $23 million to San Diego-based LLJ Office Ventures.

Racine Dental Group moved into the newly-constructed facility in October 2014....
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Area businesses named Marketplace Governor Awards finalists

 Milwaukee - 10/29/2015 More than a dozen Milwaukee area businesses have been named finalists in the 2015 Marketplace Governor's Awards, which recognize Wisconsin businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans with service disabilities....
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Corrugated materials maker looks to build $200M mill in Milwaukee area

 Milwaukee - 10/29/2015 A corrugated paper products company that keeps a low profile is planning a major new facility in the Milwaukee region.

Corrugated Supplies Co., which is based in Bedford, Ill., plans to build a $200 million linerboard mill in 2017, said CEO John Potocsnak, in a brief interview. Potocsnak said he`s not ready to share the full details, but he is excited to bring new jobs to Wisconsin, which has a large population of skilled labor with experience in paper mills....
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SC Johnson undergoing $50 million expansion, relocating 175 employees to Chicago

 Racine - 11/5/2015 SC Johnson announced today a $50 million to $80 million renovation to modernize its global headquarters campus in Racine.

Construction will begin in spring 2016, and is expected to take approximately two years to complete....
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CG Schmidt will lead $55 million Medical College project

 Wisconsin - 12/3/2015 Professional building set for completion in fall 2017...The Medical College of Wisconsin has chosen Milwaukee firm CG Schmidt to construct its new 225,000- square-foot professional building in Wauwatosa. The project will cost between $55 million and $60 million and will be built on the north side of Connell Avenue between the college's medical education building and Wisconsin diagnostic laboratories. Once completed in fall 2017, the six to seven-story building will house up to 1,200 Medical College faculty and staff members. The building will not be used for patient care. CG Schmidt previously worked on an expansion and remodeling project for the college's medical education facilities. Madison-based Flad Architects will lead the architectural and engineering design team.

Ken Notes: Thank you for the all local team!!!!
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Site for West Milwaukee Sendik's store sells for $2.3 million

 West Milwaukee - 12/10/2015 An affiliate of Mequon developer Devo Management Co. has purchased the West Milwaukee site that is the planned future location of a Sendik's Food Market for $2.3 million. DEVO Miller LLC purchased a 1-acre parcel at 4200 W. Burnham St., the northeast corner of Burnham Street and Miller Parkway, from ADM Milling Company, according to state real estate records. The parcel is the former site of an ADM Milling Co. grain elevator....
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Mixed-use development moves forward for Layton Avenue in Cudahy

 Cudahy - 11/12/2015 The Cudahy Community Development Authority has approved a four-story, mixed-use development in excess of $10 million on Layton Avenue.
Bear Development is proposing a 54-unit apartment complex that will include a mix of one- to three bedroom workforce rate apartments and 4,000 square feet of street-level retail at 3503 Layton Ave....
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Walker says skills gap will hold back tri-state economy

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker believes one of the challenges that will continue to face Wisconsin and the tri-state region is the skills gap that has plagued the region for several years.

Low taxes, reasonable regulations are all nice things to have, but infrastructure, energy and workforce are must haves, Walker said. If you don't have enough workers, companies just won't work here...
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Korb + Associates relocates to ASQ building

 Milwaukee - 11/5/2015 Korb + Associates has moved its offices from Milwaukee Street into the ASQ Center in downtown Milwaukee. The architectural company is leasing 6,000-square-feet on the second floor of the building at 648 N. Plankinton Ave. The new location will accommodate growth the firm has experienced in the last year, as well as enable to enable Korb to maintain closer contact with its clients, said Liz Syrrakos, company spokesperson....
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Riverfront Plaza on Old World Third sold

 Riverfront Plaza on Old World Third has sold for $7.5 million. The building at 1110 N. Old World Third St. was sold to Andover Portland Avenue Associates LLC., an investor group from Maine. RFP Office LLC./NAI-MLG previously owned the property. It includes five floors of office space and ground-floor retail that currently houses Lucille?s Piano Bar & Grill and Ale Asylum Riverhouse....
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Better yield and quality real estate make Milwaukee an attractive market

 Milwaukee Area - 11/19/2015 The combination of a better yield and quality real estate has drawn national commercial real estate investors to the region.
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Reno developer purchases Germantown strip mall

 12/3/2015 A Reno, Nev. investor has purchased Germantown Plaza III, a small strip mall on County Line Road, for $3.9 million.
The 23,129-square-foot building is on 3.6 acres and adjacent to the original Germantown Plaza, which includes dozens of commercial businesses....

Ken Notes: imagine that gambling on Wisconsin!
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Hotel, brew pub planned for Milwaukee County Research Park

 11/12/2015 VJS Construction Services is proposing a hotel, brew pub and retail at Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa....
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Menomonee Falls sells former Koh's distribution center for $7.2 million

 Menomonee Falls - 12/10/2015 C.H. Coakley & Co. purchased the building for storage ... The Village of Menomonee Falls sold the former Kohl's Corp. Distribution Center to Milwaukee moving and storage company C.H.Coakley & Co. for $7.2 million. CMK Inc., the corporate structure for Michael Coakley, managing partner of C.H. Coakley & Company, purchased the 388,000-square-foot building at N54 W13901 Woodale Drive. Mark Fitzgerald, Menomonee Falls village manager, said Coakley is planning to use the building primarily for data storage.
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Brookfield manufacturer expanding at former Vernon driving range

 Vernon - 12/10/2015 American Friction Welding has purchased The National Golf Center in Vernon and plans to relocate from Brookfield and expand its business there. American Friction Welding, 115 N. Janacek Road, purchased 18 acres of land at S74 W24255 National Ave. for an undisclosed price. The company is planning to construct a 60,000-square-foot light manufacturing facility on the site, according to Waukesha County Park and Planning Commission records....
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Industrial buildings sell for $9.9 million in West Allis

 West Allis - 12/10/2015 Boston-based REIT purchased property ... STAG Industrial, Inc. a Boston-based real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on the acquisition and operation of single-tenant, industrial properties throughout the United States, has purchased 12.3 acres of land in West Allis for $9.9 million....
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Thank You! Hundreds of new subscribers will receive this every Monday Morning. And WDNews Regulars can click the logo above to read each Thursday. Online always at WisconsinDevelopment.com/Green/.
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Racine mayor calls for more tri-state rail options

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 Using a 'Back to the Future' theme to illustrate his points, Racine Mayor John Dickert, challenged his colleagues to stop nitpicking at budgets and build a future for the next generation that will allow them to compete globally. 'We have an opportunity to build a plan that crosses three states to create the most efficient, effective, transportation mechanism in the world and compete globally,' Dickert said. 'We actually have an opportunity to build a plan to build our future, so when our kids look back in 30 years, all the things we talked about are not a joke.'...

Ken Notes: Late to the table???
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Another mixed-use development planned at North Water and East Brady

 Milwaukee - 11/5/2015 Wangard Partners Inc. is moving forward with plans for a mixed-use development at North Water and East Brady streets. The Milwaukee developer is proposing a two-phase project that will include 89 apartments with 92 parking spaces and 4,500 feet of commercial space, including a coffee shop, in the first phase, said Wayne Wiertzema, Wangard president....
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Pennsylvania manufacturer will build Milwaukee streetcars

 Milwaukee - 11/19/2015 The city of Milwaukee has selected Pennsylvania-based Brookville Equipment Corp. to build the first four streetcar vehicles for $18.6 million....The Common Council earlier this year approved the $124 million downtown streetcar project. The cost to build the system will be paid for with about $65 million in federal funds and about $59 million from tax incremental financing districts...

Ken Notes: Too bad -- there is a Wisconsin company that does these...
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High-end apartments planned for West Allis

 West Allis - 11/19/2015 Ogden & Co. is planning to develop 216 upscale apartments and 10,000-square-feet of commercial development across from State Fair Park in West Allis beginning next Spring....
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German retailer Vom Fass opens first Milwaukee location at Mayfair

 Madison - 12/3/2015 Vom Fass, a German retailer of oils, wines, spirits and vinegar, has opened its first Milwaukee location at Mayfair Mall. The 980-square-foot store is next to Nordstrom and opened the same day - Oct. 23 - as the high-end retail giant....
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Children's Hospital opening clinic at Milwaukee's Midtown Center

 Milwaukee - 12/10/2015 Children's Hospital of Wisconsin will open a clinic at the Midtown Center on Milwaukee's Northside. The 20,000-square-foot Midtown Clinic, 5433 W. Fond du Lac Ave., will offer patients pediatric and adolescent primary care, behavioral medicine and dental care. The clinic will be built in space formerly occupied by Office Depot and is slated to open in late summer 2016....
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Sendik`s creates online shopping platform

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 Sendik?s Food Markets, based in Whitefish Bay, has developed a virtual shopping experience through which customers can select and pay for groceries online and pick them up at a store.

Sendik?s Express, announced today, is accessible through Sendik?s website and aims to give customers a more convenient grocery shopping option, according to the Balistreri-owned retailer....
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Old World 3rd adding country bar to its venue list

 Milwaukee - 12/3/2015 Mike Zimmerman, the owner and operator of The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin and the Milwaukee Wave soccer team, is expanding his partnership with Jake and Seth Dehne and opening of a new country bar on Old World 3rd Street. ...
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Former South Shore YMCA back on the market

 Cudahy - 11/12/2015 The former South Shore YMCA in Cudahy is back on the market after plans for an evangelical Christian church to purchase the property have been terminated. CBRE listed the 53,477-square-foot building at 3244 E. College Ave., 10 days ago for $2.75 million. In August, the Cudahy plan commission approved plans that ...
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Metropolitan planning needed for tri-state economic development

 Wisconsin - 10/29/2015 The economic potential of the tri-state region won't be unlocked until the political leaders in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana have a better understanding of each state's assets and problems....
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Target to close Brown Deer Road store

 Brown Deer - 11/5/2015 Target Corp. will close its Northridge store at 8501 W. Brown Deer Road on Jan. 30, 2016....
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Racine, WEDC collaborate on funding of tech entrepreneurs

 Wisconsin - 11/5/2015 Racine County tech entrepreneurs will have a new stream of funding to turn to as the City of Racine and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation partner on a $200,000 fund....
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Gorman & Co. planning multi-family housing in Washington Park

 Washington Park - 12/3/2015 Gorman & Company is planning a multi-family housing development in the Washington Park Neighborhood that will include 40 attached single-family homes in six buildings.

Washington Park Townhomes will include 26 two-bedroom units and 14 three-bedroom units, according to plans submitted to the city of Milwaukee. In addition, there will be a 900-square-foot community building that will house a leasing office, a small conference room and maintenance shop....

Ken Notes: I hope Verona sees this!
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Miller Park Way retail center sold for $6.5 million

 Milwaukee - 11/12/2015 A group of investors have purchased a shopping center on Miller Park Way in West Milwaukee for $6.5 million....
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WDN Economic Development Toolbox

 1/1/2020
Wisconsin's most complete list of Economic Development Tools, Links, and Websites. If you can't find it call 608-334-2174 and WDNews will add it for free.

Ken Notes: A set of links to economic development tools you can use everyday. You may also add this link to your website.
NOTE: The Economic Tool box is not longer attached to the weekly email, just click the link to see our tools as well the new tools from WEDC and others...
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The Final Word

 A single source for all economic development news for Greater Madison, Milwaukee and beyond. Wisconsin Development News, (WDN) is published weekly by Ken Harwood.

Available to commercial brokers, developers, financial professionals, community planners, public officials, the press and others who have expressed an interest in Wisconsin development. All stories should link to their original source in the original context. These pages may contain advertising, and I encourage patronage of both our sponsors and the related advertisers and publications I link to.

We limit the publication to ten advertisers per week. Advertisers can participate on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis. Please email your request to advertise or discontinue your ad to ken@wisconsindevelopment.com. The rates are $50 per week or $150 (4 ads) per month or $1,500 (50+ ads) per year. We have also been known to barter.

We link to Editorial and Opinion articles each week, this does not suggest we agree with the stance of the author. The "Ken Notes" items are the opinion of our editor. We will try to include any comments or feedback sent to WDN. Ken also writes for other state publications.

The focus for WDN is to create a positive view of economic development for Wisconsin. The publication will also feature news from around the state, nation, and world that offers insight to policy, trends, and projects that may be of interest to the reader.

Please forward any information you would like included for consideration. We do our best to include any news stories, press releases, or articles from other sources that you feel would be of interest to the reader. WDN can also host your news stories and press releases online. Please feel free to subscribe your friends and clients to WDN.

We continue to develop this newsletter because of the positive feedback we have received in the past and strong encouragement to continue. As always let us know what you think.

Ken

Kenneth Harwood
WisconsinDevelopment.com LLC
P.O. Box 930234
Verona, WI 53593-0234
608.334.2174
ken@wisconsindevelopment.com


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