Kudos to everyone involved in bringing Milwaukee Tool and its 2,000 jobs to downtown Milwaukee. When opportunity knocked, community leaders pulled together to get the development deal completed.
While the speed of the deal was unique, and the benefit unquestionable, it highlights a need for a consistent and predictable process for handling such agreements in the future. Agreements that address business interests and community investment.
We must act now to bring leaders around a process design to ensure certainty that future businesses need to locate and grow here. The future of our city depends on it.
Big deals like new projects, expansions or headquarters relocations take months and years of pitching, planning and negotiating. They are complex transactions and require support from city leaders once the investment of time has been made to determine financing and labor needs.
Too often, last minute and unpredictable requirements at best delay and at worst derail projects. When investors embrace their role to make a difference and raise a community up as they establish their project here, the community leaders need to embrace them.
Clear expectations around all aspects of the project will lead to streamlined approvals and stronger outcomes. Potential areas for negotiation may be outlined as a means to create additional appeal for new investors, recognizing that no two companies are alike, and as such, not every company looking at our city brings the same opportunity.
Timing is critically important as companies are exploring new space options post-pandemic. We should all be ready to help them consider downtown Milwaukee. Let’s recognize that lasting partnership requires input from both the public and private sector, and the time to prepare for the next opportunity is before that opportunity arrives.
There will be a knock again at our door, Milwaukee, so let’s be ready to answer. Let’s come together to do all we can to make Milwaukee an easy choice for more positive investments. Our community can only benefit.
See article HERE
Tracy Johnson is president and CEO of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin.