Guest Post: WCREW the WelcomeCREW

July 17, 2017
Written by: Claire Roberts, CREW Network Director (2017-18)

WCREW may stand for Wisconsin CREW, but for me last week, it stood for WELCOME! From the moment that I arrived in Milwaukee for my chapter visit, WCREW President Heather Nelson, Senior Vice President at Spring Bank, and her board ensured that my visit to Milwaukee was informative and filled with networking opportunities. I experienced Milwaukee from a unique vantage point, different than any of my previous trips to the city. 

The board of directors kept me busy my entire visit. It was nice to be part of their board meeting and I was delighted that they approved five new members and their total membership now stands at 88. 

I had the opportunity to provide an update on CREW Network and an overview of our current industry research efforts, including our white papers and the latest benchmark study. I encouraged attendance at the CREW Network Convention and Marketplace in Houston in October as this is an especially useful way to connect and identify business opportunities. It was great to hear that the chapter members had already engaged with our new online community and website. In the realm of “the network that works,” one member told a story about already getting contacted from a fellow member in Philadelphia about a deal. That’s what we do!

The highlight of my visit was a tour of development and redevelopment that is happening along the Menomonee River. What was incredible for me was that the mode of transportation for viewing the development was by kayak!  Kristin Kurzka, senior engineer with the Sigma Group, led four of us on this unique tour of projects. It was a first for me!

Heather Nelson, Lisa Braun, Claire Roberts, Kristin Kurzka, and Lori Jore
Heather Nelson, Lisa Braun, myself, Kristin Kurzka, and Lori Jore as we prepare to view redevelopment along the Menomonee River via kayak.

Milwaukee has three rivers with quite a bit of development happening along all of them. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of contamination over the years, so this is a major part of the redevelopment. One 45-acre site has a 20-year clean up in the works. It’s a huge project, but the development and redevelopment will be meaningful for the local economy in the long term. 

WCREW redevelopment tour via kayak
WCREW members and myself on the water.

Later in the day, I presented to WCREW members prior to joining the Summer Sampler event, which is hosted by WCREW and CARW (Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin) and had over 200 attendees. I met many of WCREW’s members and other local CRE professionals.

Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling
Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling, site of the joint networking event and my presentation to WCREW attendees.

WCREW pontoon boat tour
Pontoon boats took attendees for a guided tour of the Kinnickinnic River (also known as the KK River) featuring many municipal redevelopment projects.

WCREW is another one of our small, but mighty chapters. They are engaged and committed to their local market as well as leveraging all that CREW Network offers. 

Thank you WCREW. Can’t wait to come back to your beautiful city!


Claire Roberts is an investment broker for the National Office & Industrial Properties Group at Marcus & Millichap.

Twitter: @cjrobertssior

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