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Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
HarwoodKen [at]

This Weeks Articles for 11/29/2023 ...

  1. Report: Milwaukee’s strong support system for en­tre­pre­neurs lacks ‘backbone’...
  2. Mount Pleasant Village Board approves Microsoft land sale, data center development agreement...
  3. Gov. Evers, U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Announce $1.9 million federal grant to aid Wisconsin entrepreneurs...
  4. Milwaukee Press Club: Real estate developer Tim Gokhman to headline Newsmaker Luncheon...
  5. Wisconsin should `double down` on affordable housing efforts, governor says...
  6. October Unemployment Rate Declines Month-Over-Month, Up Slightly by the Year...
  7. Near west side building to become apartments and café. It`s been empty over 20 years...
  8. School of Medicine an Public Health: New community grants awarded by Wisconsin Partnership Program...
  9. WEDC Dept Secretary to Boost “Shop Local” in Sheboygan on Monday...
  10. Governor’s Export Achievement Awards spotlight export excellence...
  11. Julie Lassa: Power of rural: Empowering healthier communities in rural Wisconsin...
  12. Mineral Point Road farmhouse has stood for 130 years despite development ...
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Report: Milwaukee’s strong support system for en­tre­pre­neurs lacks ‘backbone’

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee has a strong network of support systems for Wisconsin business owners but lacks a central organization to streamline that support, according to the latest Wisconsin Policy Forum report.

What You Need To Know

  • Milwaukee has a strong network of support systems for Wisconsin business owners but lacks a central organization to streamline that support, according to the latest Wisconsin Policy Forum report

  • The report analyzed 50 public or nonprofit business support organizations in Milwaukee that focused partially or exclusively on “Main Street” type businesses, such as restaurants or retail

  • The report also said that Milwaukee still lacks a “clear leadership role” in providing supports

  • When it comes down to the actual help being offered, the Wisconsin Policy Forum found there were also some capacity gaps
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Ken Notes: This is actually a pretty easy fix. A network organization meeting quarterly(ish), a database of online resources, a newsletter like this one to keep everyone in the loop, track best practices, successes, and failures for learning, and use teleology and mentors to improve deliverables. I would also tap local media to help. Finally use incubators and other support entities to grow businesses from the ground up. Milwaukee is a great place to start a business...

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Local government spent hundreds of millions to assemble Foxconn site. Here`s how Microsoft will cover those bills

Microsoft`s proposal to develop an additional 1,030 acres in Mount Pleasant`s Wisconsin Innovation Park, mostly on land previously controlled by Foxconn, is expected to cover the hundreds of millions in debt local governments incurred to buy land and prepare the site for development.

The land purchase, expected to be completed by the end of the year, was announced just six months after Microsoft paid $50 million for a 315-acre parcel where it is building what is now the first phase of a massive data center development. That investment alone, in an area east of the Foxconn campus between Braun Road and County KR, is expected to be $1 billion...

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Ken Notes: The data center is a solid investment. Just get an equally solid development agreement.

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Mount Pleasant Village Board approves Microsoft land sale, data center development agreement

Microsoft on Monday received the first of two local government approvals it needs to buy more than 600 acres of industrial park land from the village of Mount Pleasant, setting the stage for what the company says will be billions of dollars of investment in data center construction.

The village board unanimously approved the sale and a suite of revised development agreements with the Microsoft, Foxconn International Holdings, which has options to develop the land, and Racine County, the village`s local partner in creating the Wisconsin Innovation Park.

Village Board President David DeGroot portrayed the deal with Microsoft as a vindication of the "calculated risk" of partnering with Foxconn in 2017 and investing $1.3 billion in local, state and federal funds to develop the industrial park as a site that could in time become a technology hub...

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UW–Madison announces new campaign video in support of College of Engineering building

The University of Wisconsin–Madison today launched a new campaign video highlighting the demand for more engineers and the importance of a new College of Engineering building.

The video, titled “Wisconsin Needs More Engineers,” emphasizes the critical role that engineers play in the state’s economy and argues that a new building is essential to producing and retaining top engineering talent. The spot underscores the need for legislators to advance the project and calls on viewers to show support for the new building by contacting their elected officials.

The new video is part of a recently launched campaign that demonstrates why an engineering building is essential for Wisconsin’s economy and its businesses. Ads in support of the project are appearing in digital, print and social media platforms...

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Ken Notes: Nice video... I would like to believe it will help but alas this is generating media attention for those playing political games and they like the spotlight, sound familiar? I predict we will hear, "Lets build a wall around our UW campuses and make stupid people pay for it."

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Gov. Evers, U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Announce $1.9 million federal grant to aid Wisconsin entrepreneurs

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today, together with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), announced the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) has awarded the state of Wisconsin $1.9 million in technical assistance funding to support legal and financial advice for small businesses.

“Small businesses are the hearts of our communities and huge drivers for local economies, employing about half of Wisconsin workers and bringing unique goods and services to our communities, and they are more likely to hire locally, buy supplies locally, and get back to their local communities, too,” said Gov. Evers. “This support from our federal partners will go a long way in building upon our work to help make sure our small businesses have every opportunity and resource to succeed and thrive.”...

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New mixed-use development planned for former Sydney Hih site

A new five-story mixed-use development is coming to the Park East corridor, J. Jeffers & Co. and the Milwaukee Bucks announced on Monday morning.

A new five-story mixed-use development is coming to the Park East corridor, J. Jeffers & Co. and the Milwaukee Bucks announced on Monday morning.

The $80 million development, which does not yet have a name, is slated for construction on the corridor’s Block 5, a slightly larger than two-acre site across from the Deer District, bordered by McKinley, Vel R. Phillips and Juneau Avenues and King Drive...

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Milwaukee Press Club: Real estate developer Tim Gokhman to headline Newsmaker Luncheon

MILWAUKEE – Tim Gokhman, managing director at New Land Enterprises LLC, will be the guest speaker at a Newsmaker Luncheon set for Wednesday, November 29, hosted by the Milwaukee Press Club and

Gokhman oversees development, acquisition and business management for New Land Enterprises, a real estate development firm specializing in mixed-use residential and commercial real estate. Under his leadership, New Land has developed numerous high profile apartment buildings throughout Milwaukee including Nova and Ascent downtown, and has proposed projects including Via in Walker’s Point and a renovation of Renaissance Place on the city’s east side. New Land also developed Crossroads Collective, Milwaukee’s first food hall and the south side Kinetik Apartments, which includes a pedestrian plaza.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in economics and real estate, Gokhman is a board member at WoodWorks and serves on the Mass Timber Steering Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. He also and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Hoan Group, and the Milwaukee Business Journal Leadership Trust...

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17 businesses named as finalists for 2023 MARKETPLACE Wisconsin awards

MADISON, WI. NOV. 14, 2023 – Seventeen Wisconsin companies and individuals have been named as finalists for the 2023 MARKETPLACE Governor’s Awards, which honor Wisconsin businesses owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans, and their advocates.

Winners will be announced at the Governor’s Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the 42nd annual MARKETPLACE: the Governor’s Conference on Diverse Business Development. The event will be held at the Baird Center in Milwaukee with the support of more than 20 sponsors...

The finalists in the Outstanding Business Award category for MBE, WBE, DVB are:
  • Abaxent LLC – Pewaukee
  • Beyond Words Productions – Edgerton
  • Camo Crew Junk Removal – Butler
  • OH Snap! By Shell Photography – Glendale
  • SBS Tax LLC – Pewaukee
  • The Foster Lane – Milwaukee
The finalists in the Diverse Business Champion of the Year Award category are:
  • Anisha Jackson, American Family Insurance Group – Madison
  • Xi Lu Lorentz, Chou and Lu Law – Middleton
  • James Methu, Gilbane Building Company – Milwaukee
The finalists in the CEO of the Year Award category are:
  • Dr. LaTonya Baker, Generation of Excellence Trendsetters – Milwaukee
  • Rashi Arora Khosla, MARS Solutions Group – Waukesha
  • Rob Pero, Perodigm Media – Cambridge
The finalists in the Thought Leadership Excellence Award category are:
  • Deirdra Kendrix, DC Global Group – Milwaukee
  • Sherri Jordan, Envision the Ladder – Wauwatosa
The finalists in Best Workplace of the Year Award category are:
  • Crawford Evaluation Group – Waukesha
  • Red Shoes Inc – Appleton
  • Vendi Advertising – La Crosse

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Wisconsin should `double down` on affordable housing efforts, governor says

Gov. Evers told `The Morning Show` there`s enough money in the state budget to put toward housing services

With a fresh layer of snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing, Gov. Tony Evers issued a warning Tuesday while appearing on WPR’s "The Morning Show."

"Winter seems to be starting early this year," Evers said. "We need help with the shelters."

Service providers and community leaders across the state have raised concerns in recent weeks over bed shortages at homeless shelters for adults and families needing a warm place to rest and grab a meal...

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Ken Notes: We need to bring developers, builders, zoning and elected officials into the tent if we want to actually solve the problems. This is not a money problem it is a planning, policy and design problem...

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October Unemployment Rate Declines Month-Over-Month, Up Slightly by the Year

Sheboygan area unemployment trends largely tracked those seen across Wisconsin during October according to statistics released on Wednesday by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development...

... Preliminary October unemployment rates declined in all 12 Wisconsin metro areas over the month, while those rates increased in all 12 areas over the past year.

33 of Wisconsin’s 35 largest cities saw rates decline compared to September, and the remaining two cities were unchanged over the same time.  Compared with 2022, rates increased in 33 of 35 cities and remained unchanged in two.

As for Wisconsin’s 72 counties, 71 saw decreases in the preliminary October Unemployment data and unchanged in the single remaining county.  4 counties saw no change over the year, while increases were seen in the other 68...

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Gov. Evers, Dept. of Workforce Development: Announce all-time record-high number of registered apprentices in program’s 112-year history

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today, together with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), celebrated “National Apprenticeship Week” by announcing that Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship Program has reached a record 16,384 enrolled apprentices, an all-time record in the program’s 112-year history and surpassing last year’s record-high participation. Gov. Evers announced the new record during the Apprenticeship Career Day and Fair held by WRTP | BIG STEP of South Central Wisconsin and the Building Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin at the Plumbers Union Local 75 Training Center in Madison. The governor’s “National Apprenticeship Week” proclamation is available here.

“For over a century, Wisconsin has been a national leader in apprenticeship, which will continue to play a critical role in addressing our state’s generational workforce challenges and building a 21st-century workforce for a 21st-century economy,” said Gov. Evers. “Today, apprenticeships are more popular than ever for workers seeking a pathway into high-demand, family-supporting careers and employers seeking highly skilled talent. It’s exceedingly important that we invest in apprenticeships and getting folks the skills and training they need to participate in our workforce while continuing to be a model of innovation and flexibility to meet evolving workforce needs.”...

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Ken Notes: I would so love to revive Wisconsin Apprentice . com ... We have a great story to tell...

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Student apartment tower with 1,600 beds gets first OK from Madison

A proposed apartment tower designed to house over 1,600 students in downtown Madison has passed a key step in the city approval process.

The Madison Plan Commission voted unanimously to support a proposal from nationally known student-housing developer Core Spaces to build the 465-unit student housing development near the University of Wisconsin campus. The building would range from eight to 15 stories tall and accommodate up to 1,624 beds.

The development, referred to as the Johnson-Broom project, would occupy the lots at 407 and 431 W. Gorham St.; 408 to 430 W. Johnson St. and 304 to 318 N. Broom St...

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Board approves $32 million workforce proposal presented by the Universities of Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. – The Universities of Wisconsin today presented Regents with a $32 million proposal to develop more engineers, nurses, data scientists, and business and finance leaders to continue the UW’s emphasis on meeting workforce needs.

The proposal comes in response to the 2023-25 state budget, which assigns $32 million to the UW pending a plan to use it to address workforce issues. The proposal was approved by the Board of Regents.

“Each UW university has identified opportunities to increase capacity and develop additional talent in one of more of the high-demand fields identified, both for now and in the future,” said Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman...

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Near west side building to become apartments and café. It`s been empty over 20 years

A commercial building on Milwaukee`s near west side ? vacant for more than 20 years ? could be redeveloped into apartments and a café under a new plan.

The four-story, 10,064-square-foot building, 2627 W. State St., would be renovated into six apartments, with two to three bedrooms, as well as the café and a possible fitness center.

That`s according to a new report to the Milwaukee County Board. The board is to review plans to seek a $250,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to help finance the project.

The report said the $1.1 million project`s other funding would include equity financing, loans, a city grant and help from Brew City Match, which provides grants, loans and technical assistance for Milwaukee central city entrepreneurs. No county funding would be involved...

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School of Medicine an Public Health: New community grants awarded by Wisconsin Partnership Program

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is pleased to announce three new initiatives awarded through its Community Impact Grant Program.

The awards of up to $250,000 each over three years provide support to organizations that are developing distinct pathways to improvements in health and health care within diverse Wisconsin communities. The grant recipients are leading projects to strengthen health workforce development for rural Wisconsin, reduce isolation for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and improve culturally competent health care for African immigrant women in Wisconsin...

  • North Central Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers for the initiative Advocates in Medicine Pathway 2.0

  • Three Gaits, Inc. Therapeutic Horsemanship Center for the initiative Riding in the Moment

  • Alaafia Women Corporation for the initiative Empowering African Immigrant Women’s Health and Well-being
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Respawn Madison boss Ryan Burnett spotlights the game dev potential of Wisconsin

Ryan Burnett, studio director of Respawn`s Wisconsin-located satellite office, shines a light on how the state holds benefits for game developers.

Back in March, Electronic Arts subsidiary Respawn Entertainment opened up a satellite studio in Madison, Wisconsin to bolster development on Apex Legends. As the company noted at the time, its new office wasn`t established as a pure support studio—it`s a third arm of the game development team behind the company`s juggernaut sci-fi Battle Royale.

Earlier today studio director Ryan Burnett—who leads Respawn`s third office—delivered a keynote at midwestern video game conference M+DEV arguing that the state is primed to be "the new epicenter" of video game development in the United States. Burnett is a lifelong Wisconsinite who previously worked at Epic Games and Raven Software. He might be a bit biased in his support for the home of the Green Bay Packers—but he`s also passionate in explaining to developers about why they should pay close attention to the region.

Burnett spoke with Game Developer in advance of his keynote to offer more context on Wisconsin`s potential as a hub for game development—and offered some thoughts about how studios can successfully set up new shops in such areas themselves...

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Ken Notes: Great Read!

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Stay up to date by reading our MadREP Report,a bi-monthly newsletter that features regional economic development news, events and opportunities.

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Gov. Evers, U.S. Sen. Baldwin, WEDC Celebrate U.S. Regional Tech Hub Designation

Designation confirms Wisconsin’s lead in field of biohealth technology, clears the way for state to compete for up to $75 million in federal investments

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) celebrated President Joe Biden today recognizing Wisconsin’s leadership in the field of personalized medicine and biohealth technology by designating the state as a Regional Technology Hub (RTH).

The Regional Technology Hub (RTH) designation from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) clears the way for Wisconsin to compete for up to $75 million in funding under the federal CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. EDA announced it is also awarding Wisconsin a $350,000 strategic development grant as part of the designation...

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WEDC Dept Secretary to Boost “Shop Local” in Sheboygan on Monday

In an effort to promote support for local merchants during the holiday shopping season, the Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will visit Sheboygan on Monday.

Sam Rikkers is touring businesses in communities across Wisconsin, emphasizing the importance of supporting local businesses, especially since this season is a “make-or-break” proposition for some.

Rikkers will be making two stops on Monday, beginning at the Sheboygan Chamber of Commerce headquarters on South 8th Street at 1 p.m.  Rikkers will visit with locally-owned businesses during his stop...

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Governor’s Export Achievement Awards spotlight export excellence

The 2023 winners include MacDonald & Owen Lumber Co., the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, S3 AeroDefense, and the Badger Technology Group.

Three Wisconsin companies and one industry organization have received 2023 Governor’s Export Achievement Awards recognizing their outstanding efforts to expand their competence and influence in international markets.

This year’s awards, presented following the Wisconsin Economic Summit in Appleton in late October, went to the MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company, the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, S3 AeroDefense, and the Badger Technology Group.

“For our businesses willing to take on the adventure of exporting, it is incredibly important,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC secretary and CEO. “While it’s excellent for your businesses, it’s also excellent for the Wisconsin economy.”....
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Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry CEO Sachin Shivaram Named Chairman of Governor`s Council on Workforce Investment

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers has appointed Sachin Shivaram, CEO of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, to serve as chair of the Governor`s Council on Workforce Investment (CWI).

Shivaram, who previously served as the CWI vice chair, succeeds S. Mark Tyler, founder and chairman of OEM Fabricators, with operations in Woodville, Neillsville, and Phillips.

"Sachin Shivaram`s commitment to workforce development is evident in his leadership of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, which continues to innovate in training workers from diverse backgrounds," Gov. Tony Evers said. "I also want to take this opportunity to applaud the service of Mark Tyler, whose vision for a thriving economy includes critical workforce supports such as access to technical education, child care, housing, and transportation. All of Wisconsin benefits when our business and community leaders take an active role through key organizations like the Governor`s Council on Workforce Investment."...

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`Sea of parking`: Could land around Milwaukee Brewers stadium be home to future development?

Some want to see parking lots converted to an entertainment district

The aroma of grilled bratwursts and sound of baseballs hitting gloves over speakers playing "Beer Barrel Polka" are key to the pre-game experience for many Milwaukee Brewers fans, some of whom flood the parking lots hours before first pitch. 

Although tailgating isn`t unique to the Brewers, it is a part of the team`s culture and identity. The 12,000 parking spaces and around 160 acres of parking lots at American Family Field are typically flooded with celebrating fans before games. But now as part of discussions related to a bipartisan plan to fund stadium renovations  some, including Milwaukee`s mayor, are pushing the team to redevelop at least some of the property devoted to parking...

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HUD Selects City of Madison Community Development Authority’s Bjarnes Romnes Apartments as Study Area for the Annual Innovation in Affordable Housin

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) selected the City of Madison Community Development Authority (CDA) to be the partnering public housing agency for the 11th annual Innovation in Affordable Housing (IAH) Student Design and Planning Competition. The CDA applied to host the competition and identified the Bjarnes Romnes Apartments site, 540 W. Olin Avenue as the project study area.  HUD selected the CDA to be the host agency through a nationwide competitive application process.

Each year, HUD`s Innovation in Affordable Housing competition invites graduate students enrolled in accredited educational institutions in the United States to form multi-disciplinary teams to respond to an existing affordable housing design and planning issue. The competition requires teams composed of graduate students in architecture, planning and policy, finance, and other areas to address social, economic, environmental, design, financial, and construction issues in addition to an affordable housing design challenge.

The Madison CDA currently owns and operates the Romnes Apartments, a 169-unit public housing building on a 7-acre site opened in 1968. As the two-story, horseshoe-shaped structure would likely face overwhelming rehabilitation and modernization costs in its existing form, CDA expects that it may be most cost-effective to ultimately demolish the facility and replace it with one or more buildings on the same site that would provide improved resident amenities, sustainable and climate-friendly design features, and operational efficiencies...
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Julie Lassa: Power of rural: Empowering healthier communities in rural Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, USDA Rural Development works hard to empower rural people and organizations with the information they need to take full advantage of over 70 programs specifically designed to support healthy, rural communities.

On National Rural Health Day this year, we were reminded that a strong community is rooted in its people. Celebrating the “Power of Rural” gives us the opportunity to highlight the incredible efforts of rural health care providers, farmers, communities, and individuals dedicated to advancing good health and access to nutritious food...
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Mineral Point Road farmhouse has stood for 130 years despite development

The brick farmhouse sits on a ridge overlooking what is now Madison’s Far West Side and is one the few reminders of this area’s agrarian past.

The silos, barn, outbuildings and clotheslines were removed decades ago as development encroached and ultimately swallowed what once was pasture, corn and soybean fields, and gravel roads.

But the two-story farmhouse on Mineral Point Road that was converted to restaurant space in 1981 remains and is once again serving as a communal place while preserving a piece of history.

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Land and Space / Tom Daykin

Note: I changed the link here to Toms Twitter account. JS limits the number of articles I can read so I look at TD`s Twitter feed every week. I`ll Still include JS articles but after ten you need to subscribe.

I also updated the picture because, well Tom is getting old and development is taking it`s toll!!!

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...

Land & Space Development Database

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Ken Notes: Tom Daykin is the source for ED news in MKE. This is a permanent link to articles in his blog which is updated daily...

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Wisconsin Development and WDNGreen newsletters are now emailed to over 12,000 professionals, planners, developers, news outlets, and elected officials each week. We see over 1,000 opens within the first hour every week for each publication. The websites, and are always online and available to view and search where we maintain several years worth of articles.

"My goal is to present a positive view of economic development, business and employment in the State of Wisconsin”, Ken Harwood, Editor and Publisher.

Each week WisconsinDevelopment presents a positive look at economic development, commercial projects and ideas that work from across the state. In WDNGreen we highlight pro-environmental development and issues that make economic sense.

We believe in the Wisconsin business community and believe that telling their stories will positively impact both growth and better legislation in the State. We are nonpartisan, pro business, pro positive environmental issues, and most importantly pro WISCONSIN...

Online at  & Featuring Storues & Links you can use everyday to help your bisiness and Wisconsin grow! Edited and published by Ken Harwood @ LinkedIn. 

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Ken Notes: "Ken Notes" may be reprinted in context without permission. Attribution should be Ken Harwood, Editor Wisconsin Development News or Ken Harwood Advocate for Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin Development News is
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Ken Harwood
Ken [at]

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