A legacy of success in Milwaukee
By: Scott Bertschinger, President and COO, Wells – Great Lakes
A strong infrastructure has the power to strengthen communities and create new opportunities for people to thrive. By forming connections with local partners — and using innovative construction solutions to help those partners succeed — Wells has supported Milwaukee’s infrastructure for more than 70 years.
Supporting construction success reinforces Milwaukee’s legacy and builds local pride with every new project. We look forward to helping strengthen the city’s future through new partnerships, new progress and new opportunities.
2022 Commercial Real Estate Outlook
During the height of the pandemic, many took a pessimistic view of not only office, retail and the hospitality asset classes, but of the broader commercial real estate market as well. What transpired instead was an unexpected boom in commercial real estate demand, whether due to increased liquidity, investors chasing yield, pent-up investor demand, opportunistic purchases of distressed asset classes, on shoring, etc. Will this resilience continue or will we see a real estate market decline in 2022? Below is a snap shot at our bullish commercial real estate market forecast and some factors at work in 2022:
The economic growth that started in the third quarter of 2020 is expected to continue into 2022. The Federal Reserve’s forecast on real economic growth for 2022 is 3.3%.
The cost of construction is expected to decrease. While there is inflation looming which has driven up the prices of building material. It is expected in 2022 that bottlenecks in the real estate related supply chain will be fixed with continued economic growth and companies restocking their inventory which will help ease costs.
Investors have a significant surplus of capital yet to deploy. Additionally, investor funds have already been planned, budgeted and raised for future projects.
Even with increases in interest rates, rates are still near historical lows. While not directly correlated, CAP rates will adjust with, but lag interest rates, meaning it may be another year before we see an impact on the market.
Changes in Office
While changes in political office could affect 1031 exchange rules by this administration and are something to watch, the U.S. office market registered positive net absorption for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic during 4Q21, as changes to the ways landlords and tenants utilize space are occurring.
Retail is Not Dead
Many left the retail store for dead at the onset of COVID, however, it came roaring back at year end with 4Q21 sales volume of $33 billion, the single highest quarterly total on record. 4Q21, asking rents for shopping centers rose broadly nationwide while vacancy fell close to its pre-pandemic level and net absorption neared the previous quarter’s high watermark. This is expected to continue lead by experiential retail.
By Michael Gentry - Labor & Employment Shareholder, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren
Email | 414.298.8715
In November, the New York Times put out an Opinion Interactive called, Where Should You Live. “Everyone’s moving to Texas,” it proclaimed. “Why?” I thought; it’s hot there (ok, it was not quite as cold here at the time as it is now). Try as I might, I could not get the Times’ quiz to validate my choice to live around Milwaukee. So, I investigated the article’s biases. And sure enough, it summed it up well: “Places are shaped by the people who live in them, and people are full of surprises that no algorithm can capture.” That’s right, I think. It’s Milwaukee’s people that make this an interesting place to live and work. As a midwestern transplant, it’s a place that I have been proud to call home since 2010. And, I’d argue, a good place to start and run a business.
Sometimes overshadowed by its neighbor to the south, and often underappreciated, Milwaukee is a cultural powerhouse. Summerfest. Harley Davidson. Annual cultural festivals celebrating Milwaukee’s diverse roots. The recently re-opened America’s Black Holocaust Museum. Likewise, the Bucks-in-six championship certainly did not diminish Milwaukee’s cultural standing nationally.
What’s more, Milwaukee has grit (an intangible quality not easily measured by algorithms). Our kind are more likely than most to endure the cold at Lambeau, or sit outside during winter when a pesky pandemic prevented indoor dining. And the cost of living in Milwaukee (and even in Milwaukee’s surrounding communities) is low when compared to most other metropolitan areas its size. So, Milwaukee’s workforce presents an attractive ROI for employers and Milwaukee should be an attractive option young professionals seeking to build their careers in a vibrant city where they can afford to live near downtown.
As an employment attorney, I have encountered quite a few characters in and around Milwaukee. It’s always the people involved in a deal or dispute that keep things interesting. But the last couple of years have provided an especially challenging context for building good, lasting relationships between employers and their employees. Employers have been put through the ringer —adapting to remote work, constantly shifting state/local/federal pandemic-related restrictions, rising prices (without necessarily increasing margins), hiring and training and retaining workers whom they scarcely if ever see in person while enduring the zeitgeist of the “Great Resignation.”
Each of these issues has presented its own set of legal questions: how do we build company culture when we’re never together? What changes do I need to make to my policies, contracts and offer letters to accommodate our reconfigured workforce? How can I keep my employees safe while still delivering the service that our customers expect? And how can I protect my customer relationships in a market where employees jump from job to job?
Many employers I have spoken to over the past couple of years feel like the ground has shifted such that they’re reluctant to plan for the future —like a builder who has weathered a bad storm. But, by embracing the new realities and refreshing certain employee practices, policies and agreements to rise to the occasion (like remote work practices and refreshed, enforceable contracts and policies) they can put their workforce, their people, in the best position to help their companies succeed. That’s true grit.
Recent studies confirm that TV ranks number one in time spent with media. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, U.S. adults spent twice as much time with TV as they do with radio, and they spend 50% more time with TV than with web on a smartphone.1
The Spectrum Reach Ad Portal provides simple and efficient ways to grow a business with the power of TV:
Two ways to create. Business owners can choose from a collection of TV-ready commercial templates and create one on their own, or collaborate with the creative experts at Spectrum Reach’s in-house agency, Kernel.
Ad frequency optimization. Adding TV to a digital or social media schedule increases reach and provides better frequency. As a rule, three is the magic number— where an ad will make a lasting impression and produce results.2
Results. The Ad Portal’s reporting dashboard makes it easy to understand an ad’s effectiveness with real-time campaign results.
The Spectrum Reach Ad Portal, an easy-to-use, do-it-yourself TV advertising solution, is here.
Are you curious? Create your first campaign HERE >
1Advertising Across Today’s Media: The Nielsen Total Audience Report, March 2021.
2 “The Power of Repetition for Your TV Campaign.” Spectrum Reach, 6/28/21. https://www.spectrumreach.
By Donnie Bogle-Boesiger - Senior Virtual Construction Specialist, J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc.
In an age where digital dominates, how are the top construction companies utilizing new technology to enhance their communication and refine the construction process?
While many others in the construction industry lag when it comes to adopting new technology, Findorff has been investing in embedding construction technology into our workflows for over a decade. At the core of this innovation is Building Information Modeling (BIM).
BIM is a tool that allows project teams to input critical data throughout the project’s lifecycle into a 3D model. For many companies, BIM solves potential issues that could turn costly if they reach the field undetected.
Improving the Flow of Information
A construction project’s web of communication is a complex array of stakeholders, and can include Owners, Architects, Engineers, General Contractors, and Subcontractors. Each creates and documents information throughout the project’s life cycle, which is communicated to other stakeholders for input, clarifications, and implementation. Although this communication process may sound straightforward, there are many challenges, which can include:
BIM-led planning process results in greater team trust
Technology in the construction sphere continues to evolve and is a vital part of the project cycle to mitigate risk, improve cost savings, and enhance communication.
Through the creation of this BIM-led communication process and issue resolution, the Virtual Design Construction (VDC) team is creating an opportunity to proactively solve issues compared to a conventional approach where issues may not be realized until after construction is underway. In addition, tradespeople are informed of pertinent information quicker than conventional communication method.
The future is now, and technology barriers in construction are being broken down, allowing for minimized risk and maximized success. Our VDC team at Findorff is eager to be a part of the evolution and continued impacts it will make in the industry, providing greater success and reward to our partners, clients, and customers.
Vision Benefits…from Delta Dental?
By Jackie Bloomer - Sales Executive, Delta Dental of Wisconsin
Did you know your eyes can give your doctor a clear picture of your overall health? This is just one way vision benefits can help employees stay healthy. Adults are four times more likely to have an eye exam than a medical physical. This may be due to the ease of scheduling an eye exam and feeling that it’s a less invasive procedure, or the simple fact that noticing a change in your vision is a lot easier than noticing a change in your cholesterol, for example.
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute – why is a sales executive from Delta Dental talking about vision?” Well, we’re experts not only in dental insurance, but also in vision insurance. Throughout 2022, I plan to focus these quarterly articles on how dental and vision benefits are imperative.
If offered by their employer, 85% of adults would take a vision insurance plan. In most benefits packages, vision insurance falls third in line (following medical and dental) as the most desired benefit. Delta Dental of Wisconsin not only offers great dental insurance, but covers your vision care needs as well.
When looking at ways to increase productivity at work, vision may not be the first thing that comes to mind; however, it should be, since 75% of adults need some form of vision correction. Employees have shown a 2.5% increase in productivity simply by having the most accurate vision prescription, and a 20% decrease in productivity by having an inaccurate vision prescription. With the effects of aging and the increase in screen usage, vision health should continue to be a top priority along with dental and medical.
For less cost per month than most employees spend on coffee, let Delta Dental of Wisconsin show you some vision insurance plans for your organization. I invite you to contact me or scan the QR code with your smart phone’s camera to learn more about dental and vision plans. We want to clearly see those beautiful smiles.
Stay tuned for our future articles, which will discuss bundling dental and vision; the connection of vision, oral, and overall health; and Delta Dental’s plan features.
By Christopher Hamilton - Team leader, Commercial Banking Group, Associated Bank
The role of a financial institution in any community is to promote economic growth by safely holding deposits, facilitating the exchange of money and lending capital. Associated Bank has been doing this in Wisconsin for over 160 years. We’ve grown to be the largest bank headquartered in Wisconsin, with more branches throughout the state than any other bank.
Milwaukee continues to be a primary focus for us and a catalyst for our future growth. Our substantial investments in the region include the purchase of the Associated Bank River Center in downtown Milwaukee. Come spring, our CEO, several other executive leaders and a large team of our colleagues will be moving to the newly remodeled space in what will be our southeastern Wisconsin headquarters.
We have several reasons for concentrating on Milwaukee. Milwaukee has done an excellent job developing infrastructure on both the public side and through public-private partnerships. We have strong highways,
a port on Lake Michigan, an efficient airport and reliable rail connections that make Milwaukee a hub for commerce. Our focus on freshwater technology is unparalleled and rightfully envied throughout the world. In addition, the Milwaukee region is served by top-rated healthcare systems.
But without question, the strongest asset of the Milwaukee area is the people. The strong work ethic and Midwestern attitude combined with the genuine interest in and care for others is truly unmatched in other parts of the country.
Studies show that Wisconsin also has one of the most talented workforces in the nation, especially in science and engineering. This keeps Milwaukee at the forefront of industrial innovation, drawing both local and outside firms to continue investing in new factories and R&D centers throughout southeast Wisconsin. In addition, our workforce often starts new businesses, fueling a positive cycle of innovation and wealth generation.
We partner with individuals, families, hospitals, nonprofits and thousands of businesses—from
sole proprietorships to publicly traded companies and governmental organizations—in the Milwaukee
area, with loans, payment processing and other services that companies need to function. This, in turn, helps power infrastructure projects, including road building, energy, transportation, clean water initiatives and healthcare access.
Associated Bank recognizes Milwaukee as a growth market that will continue to elevate the entire region. Our motto is “Your Money Works Here®”; it’s the foundation of why we’ve committed to reinvesting in our communities while fostering, retaining and supporting local talent.
Deposit and loan products are offered by Associated Bank, N.A. Loan products are subject to credit approval and involve interest and other costs. Please ask about details on fees and terms and conditions of these products. Property insurance and flood insurance, if applicable, will be required on collateral. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
By Chris Mambu Rasch - Executive Director, Building Advantage
(414) 897-1146 | buildingadvantage.org
In an increasingly competitive environment for workforce talent, building in Milwaukee is key to your company’s talent recruitment strategies. Whether you’re looking to kickstart, expand or relocate a business, Milwaukee offers something for every company. Our skyline is changing to support our culture, residents, and businesses, including several fortune 500 companies based in our region.
Great spaces recruit great people. Building your business in Milwaukee position’s your organization to compete for the best talent. Milwaukee’s union trades and contractors have built many of the region’s landmark office spaces like Komatsu’s harbor district campus and the Northwestern Mutual Tower. Regardless of your project’s scope, we have the right experience to make sure your project is delivered on-time and on-budget.
Trusted union trades are the clear choice to build or renovate your project. With an emphasis on safety and training, union tradespeople get the job done right the first time. Ultimately, our experience and efficiency will maximize your return on investment. Building Advantage was created by the Construction Labor Management Council of Southeast Wisconsin to promote the benefits of hiring union affiliated contractors and trades. We are comprised of thousands of tradespeople, hundreds of contractors,
and five management associations.
If you’re considering building in the greater Milwaukee region, reach
out to us. We’re here to address your questions about partnering
If you’re starting the year with a new health plan or simply a refreshed determination to trim
expenses, now may be a good time to look for ways to save on your health care costs.
These tips may help put your benefits to better use and make health care more affordable:
1. Understand what’s covered
Many health plans cover costs for annual checkups, health screenings and immunizations, when you see a network care provider. Consider verifying how other services will be covered by logging into your member website or calling the number on your ID card.
2. Know where to go for care
Heading to an emergency room for a non-lifethreatening issue may cost you far more than visiting an alternative setting, such as urgent care or a convenience clinic. An average ER visit is around $2,200, while a typical urgent care appointment may cost you $180. In addition, seeking care in the ER may mean longer wait times and an increased exposure to germs. If you are faced with a non-emergency health condition, but your primary care doctor’s office is closed, consider the potential benefits of a convenient, lower-cost
3. Stay in network
Choosing doctors and labs in your plan’s network will likely mean paying less. In-network care providers and labs have pre-negotiated rates for health care services, which may help reduce the chances you’ll get a surprise bill.
4. Consider prescription options
Your health plan may offer discounts, or you may have access to generic versions of brand-name drugs. Generic medications contain the same active ingredients but typically cost less. You may also be able to save even more by filling your prescriptions at a participating network pharmacy or by choosing home delivery by mail.
5. Take advantage of incentives
Many plans offer wellness programs that may enable you to earn incentives for meeting certain health goals. Some programs reward you for activities you may already be doing, such as walking, cycling or strength training.
.For example, the UnitedHealthcare Motion® program uses a motion device to track steps, reach goals and earn financial rewards (over $1,000 per year) to help offset plan participant out-of-pocket costs with deposits into their health savings account (HSA) —provided at no additional cost and part of your benefit plan.
For more information about managing health care costs, visit uhc.com.