Good Afternoon,

One month ago The Shops of Grand Avenue came under new ownership with Milwaukee ties and they are eager to get to work! Hear from Tony Janowiec of the ownership group about his vision for the iconic property and what he wants the community and potential partners to know.
As for another catalytic project, The Milwaukee Streetcar is full steam ahead and gearing up for the start of route construction later this year! Check out the new tool created to assist in showcasing the economic development potential of underutilized sites and commercial lease opportunities located in close proximity to the initial routes. And do not forget to sign up for next week's Better Building Challenge Networking Breakfast to learn how you can positively impact your bottom line through energy savings.

Also, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is in the home stretch of their Kiva Zip loan fundraising. Lend today so that these entrepreneurs can open up shop in downtown Milwaukee in 2016!
As always, thanks for reading,
fake signature Matt Dorner   

Matt Dorner
Economic Development Director
Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21
Follow us on Twitter @RealResultsMKE
Just over a month ago, one of the most high profile properties in the region, the Shops of Grand Avenue, changed hands--and everyone I talk with believes it's for the better. The Shops of Grand Avenue is nearly 300,000 square feet comprised of multiple buildings spanning four blocks along West Wisconsin Avenue and is supported by a 1,748-stall parking structure. The property has changed ownership several times since 2005. From out-of-state investors to bank auctions, the iconic centerpiece of the Westown neighborhood now finds itself back with ownership that has Milwaukee ties, making local stakeholders feel optimistic. "Having owners that are already invested in downtown and understand the local market gives the best opportunity to capitalize on the positive aspects and drive new, complementary, traffic-generating uses to the property," said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District (BID) #21.

The new ownership group centers on Tony Janowiec of Interstate Parking (Milwaukee), Chuck Biller of The Aggero Group (Milwaukee), and Joshua Krsnak of Hempel Companies (Minneapolis). 

The new owners are not wasting any time as they have already launched into meetings with community partners and prospective users. With varying yet related professional expertise coupled with the new separated legal ownership for the commercial property and parking structure, the owners are uniquely and more favorably positioned than any of their recent predecessors. Separating the parking from the commercial spaces, but still providing users with perpetual parking rights through easements, breaks the property into more manageable parts and allows for ultimate flexibility. Now potential users do not have to underwrite the high cost of parking, which can allow for desirable uses to come to fruition that may have not worked out in the past. 

In a recent meeting, the new owners made it clear: "We are here to do deals," said Joshua Krsnak. Right now there is no shortage or limits to the range of ideas on what could be done to move the property forward and these early signs of enthusiasm provide confirmation that the right team is at the helm.

Streetcar systems are proven drivers of economic development. What helps unlock this economic boom is the attraction to permanency. Developers and businesses are drawn to fixed-rail routes because they know their investment will be serviced for the long-term. The Milwaukee Streetcar will create the same level of confidence and predictability to foster economic development, as have similar systems in other cities. 

To showcase the economic development potential in our city, Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 led the creation of the MKE Streetcar Development & Investment Guide to promote the approximately 50 acres of underutilized sites and more than 1,000,000 square feet of commercial lease opportunities that exist along or within walking distance to the initial routes.

For more information about the MKE Streetcar Development & Investment Guide or any other tools, please click here or contact Matt Dorner, Economic Development Director, at 414.220.4700 x4 or

Thu, January 28 | 8:30 to 10:30 am
Hotel Metro Ballroom
411 East Mason Street

Join us on Thursday, January 28 at Hotel Metro to learn and connect with a local network of building owners, managers, and operators about the Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge and how to improve your building's bottom line through energy saving. The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with networking and breakfast followed by an informative discussion with community experts and peers on the new and refreshed resources and support available through the City of Milwaukee to help achieve energy savings that will make your buildings more competitive.

To register for the Better Buildings Challenge Networking Breakfast, please click here!

In This Issue
At 2.5 route miles, the Phase 1 route and Lakefront extention streetcar lines boast a length that is 0.4 miles longer than the average of other peer cities with modern streetcars in or soon to be in operation.

Source: HNTB


Principal, Interstate Parking Company
Tony Janowiec is not only a well-respected founding partner of the Interstate Parking Company, but he is also a key part of the new ownership of The Shops of Grand Avenue. Learn more about how he and his partners plan to revitalize The Shops of Grand Avenue.
How did Interstate Parking come to be in 2009?
It's a long story of great friendships forged through business, timing and the desire to be the best at what we do, but the condensed version is that the timing was perfect to create a customer service and technology focused parking management and development company with my two partners, Zilber Ltd. and Doug Hoskin.

What makes you most excited about the future of The Shops of Grand Avenue?
Contributing to and helping to advance the renaissance of Milwaukee's next great neighborhood centered at West Wisconsin Avenue!

What is your ideal mix of uses for the future of The Shops of Grand Avenue?
It's less about the specific uses and more about the right mix to integrate within the fabric of the overall revitalization, connectedness and experience of West Wisconsin Avenue. We envision an active, lively neighborhood where people work, live and play with the energy of its original incarnation as our city's main street when it was actually called Grand Avenue.

What do you want brokers and potential users to know about your team's efforts at The Shops of Grand Avenue?
Our message is simple--we have the largest parking capacity anywhere in the city, we have 300,000 square feet of mixed use space at the lowest occupancy costs in the market and have unparalleled logistics infrastructure. We are open for business to entertain partners, tenants and just about any uses that contribute to the renaissance effort for 100 to 200,000 plus square feet of the space.

What downtown Milwaukee development or initiative are you most excited about?
Where do I start?  [...long list of development projects from the Lakefront to Marquette University, from the North End to the Third Ward, including The Milwaukee Streetcar...] I've lived in Milwaukee for most of the past 15 years and I do business all over the country, so I routinely experience many larger and smaller cities. My career enables me to live just about anywhere and my family chooses to live in Milwaukee because we think it's the coolest city in the country, and it's never been more exciting to be a part of it all!

What do you see as downtown Milwaukee's biggest challenge?
Changing conventional mindsets of certain stigmatized areas of our city and our overall perception of it. I've always been astonished with some of our community's inferiority complex as compared to Chicago and Minneapolis, for example, and we have so many attributes those communities have no chance of competing with. I think we need to do a better job realizing that we live in one of the best communities in the world.

When you are not working, what is one of your favorite hobbies or pastime?
My wife and I enjoy doing pretty much whatever our four and five year old kids have in mind! This time of year, I also competitively sail ice boats, downhill ski and find just about any other excuse to experience the outdoors in our exhilarating Wisconsin winters.

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21
Matt Dorner
600 East Wells Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202-3811
(414) 220-4700 ext. 4