Year in review 2019
As the calendar turns to a new decade, there is much to celebrate. The Commercial Real Estate Industry is stronger than ever, CARW’s membership is larger than ever and your work as professionals has an increasing impact on growing communities, creating jobs and attracting new businesses to our State.

As we race speedily into 2020, we have taken a peek back on the year that was. 2019 was a big one by all accounts celebrating 26 years!

A few highlights and key words that defined our work below:

Despite the terribly snowy weather which always coincided with a CARW event, happy hour or training, attendance remained strong. Sometimes the events started so early, we didn’t have time to cancel them. For example, in February, we hosted the Commercial Real Estate Roundtable Forum at the Italian Conference Center. Snow, school cancellations and weather advisories couldn’t keep everyone away. Speakers traveled from throughout the region to share knowledge, best practices, and the latest updates on their projects. Presenters included Josh Kraul, Interstate Partners; Josh Jeffers, JJeffers; Chad VandeZande, Cushman & Wakefield | BOERKE Company, Andrea Foster, Marcus Hotels, and more.

The Wisconsin Commercial Data Exchange celebrated its second anniversary in 2019. Now reporting absorption in both Milwaukee and Madison, these quarterly reports bring the best in the industry to share commercial real estate data for the most reliable system in the State. Over the course of 12 months, the system gained nearly 20,000 new properties and 7,000 sale comps. Currently, the WCDE contains 60,000 properties and more than 17,000 sale comps. Users are continually asked to share needs and wants for the platform and have introduced new tools including; broadcast email; bundling broker flyers and reports; traffic and leads dashboard; #DNC hashtags can be added to listings which may be willing/able to accommodate the DNC convention; Opportunity Zone searchability; Moody’s analytics searchability. In 2019, the Exchange went NATIONAL – with current paying users able to share their listings and search listings on a national scale. We're also proud to highlight annually, the best and brightest brokers in the industry through the Market Update with the NAIOP Wisconsin chapter. This year's presenters included Jim Cavanaugh, Cushman & Wakefield | BOERKE Company; Adam Connor, Colliers International; Max Jacobson, Mid-America Real Estate Wisconsin, LLC and Tony Haning, JLL.

One of CARW’s proudest collaborations is with ICSC – the International Council of Shopping Centers. Since 2014, CARW and ICSC have partnered to grow a full-day conference to a nationally recognized knowledge sharing event. More than 350 attend the event annually and come from more than 10 different States. In 2019, at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino, we welcomed ICSC President, Tom McGee as the event keynote. He set the tone for the evolving retail scene and entertainment. Punchbowl Social, Founder and CEO, Robert Thompson joined us to introduce the new concept at the Deer District near the Fiserv Forum. Coupled with an afternoon panel led by SiteWorks’ Nick Egalanian and regional real estate experts: Wayne Adcoe, CBL; Adam Elias, WhirlyBall; Katie Falvey, Marcus Corporation and Tim Gokhman, New Land Enterprises – the event was a smash. More than 100 roundtable sessions filled the afternoon.

Members of CARW are often called on for their insights and expertise on community and economic development issues. As such, leaders had the opportunity to meet with the Governor Evers as well as a number of the State of Wisconsin Cabinet Secretaries including DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. CARW leadership also played a roll on a State of Wisconsin Task Force on Transportation funding solutions with Secretary Craig Thompson. Later in the year, CARW leaders met with Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales to discuss safety, security and collaborating ahead of the DNC.

In Q4, CARW received a grant from the National Association of REALTORS for their work to bring resources around opportunity zones to Milwaukee. Steve Glickman, Founder of Develop LLC and one of the creators of the Federal Opportunity Zone legislation visited Milwaukee for a collaborative program with the Milwaukee Rotary Club. The session included a keynote by Mr. Glickman and a moderated question and answer session led by Milwaukee Business Journal Editor, Mark Kass. In the afternoon, Steve Glickman and CARW leaders met with representatives from WHEDA, City of Milwaukee, the Menomonee Valley Partners and Near West Side Partners. The dialogue continues to this day and will grow over time as there is greater understanding of the opportunity zone investment opportunities.

The CARW Commercial Real Estate Foundation received its first support during the 2019 CARW Golf Outing. Two exclusive Bucks opportunities were raffled was kicked off in August when Bucks announcer, Steve Novak helped raise dollars for the Foundation. The first scholarships are scheduled to be awarded in 2020.

In May, a contingency of CARW members traveled to Washington DC to attend the National Association of REALTORS Mid-Year Convention. At the convention CARW received the highly-coveted Five-Star Commercial Accreditation which was given to only two associations in 2019. This is the highest recognition given to a Commercial Board of REALTORS for exceeding requirements for commercial association operations and leadership. In August, CARW leaders presented on a national panel about the Wisconsin Commercial Data Exchange. The panel was part of the NAR Commercial Leadership Development Conference in Chicago.

CARW has engaged on a number of important real estate and REALTOR issues including the ongoing discussion on Association Health Plans. CARW signed onto a letter of concurrence with the National REALTORS to continue moving the discussion forward. On a State level, CARW leaders continue to be active in the forefront and in the background on issues including property taxes (dark store), regulatory reform (TIF) and local issues including overlay zones and the Milwaukee Street Car. Members are asked to weigh in on issues and write letters of support and continue to answer the calls for action to communicate with their legislative leaders. Additionally, CARW is proud to support, in conjunction with the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS, the Wisconsin Policy Forum online Tax Assessment Tool for the third consecutive year.

CARW members are often seen as experts for publications and panels including the Milwaukee Business Journal, BizTimes and Midwest Real Estate Journals. Many are featured in local and regional podcasts and through a weekly appearance by CARW leadership on WTMJ to discuss real estate and business topics. In fall, CARW members presented at the WRA State Convention on “Best Practices for Commercial and Residential Practitioners Working Together”. Presenters included Jennifer Delaporte, Pepper Construction; Robert Dennik, VJS Construction; Jay Lang, Lang Group; Brian Parrish, Paradigm Real Estate; Travis Peterson, Kapur Associates, Inc.; Nate Powers, Cushman & Wakefield | BOERKE Company.

CARW prides itself on staying ahead of the curve when it comes to programming and collaboration. Throughout the year, we brought programming through lunch and learns that highlighted some of the most important topics and projects of the time including the Michels development in the Harbor District, Networking as a Contact Sport by local author Joe Sweeney and the latest on the Bayshore Mall redevelopment. We’ve also entered into some invaluable collaborations with related commercial real estate associations including CCIM which hosted both a 102 session on Market Analysis for Commercial Investment Real Estate and a 103 session on User Decision Analysis. The classes attracted students to Milwaukee from 7 different States.

CARW collaborated with SIOR Wisconsin to bring a program on the evolution of industrial real estate that featured national speakers including Marcia Kester - Sperber, Uline; Don Schoenheider, Hillwood; Ben Conwell, Cushman Wakefield; Scott Carpenter, CH Coakley. They discussed national trends and the convergence of industrial and retail real estate. SIOR also welcomed SIOR incoming President Mark Duclos.

In September, CARW supported the IAMC (Industrial Asset Management Council) host committee as they welcomed more than 1,000 site selectors, economic development leaders and community development professionals as Wisconsin hosted the Fall Forum.

The CARW NextGen Program continues to grow with 65 individuals officially graduated in September, 2019. The 2020 class has been selected and we look forward to this fourth year of developing and growing leaders in real estate and our community. Leaders have suggested that the NextGen program is a valuable resource for their firms in making sure that individuals stay engaged in CARW and in the industry.

Cheers to 2020 and thank you for all your support of CARW!
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