As published by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

I have been an industrial real estate broker in Milwaukee for more than 35 years. I have seen firsthand the decline and deterioration of many large, older industrial buildings after their prior occupants either moved or shut down operations. The assessed value and consequently the taxes due continued a downward spiral over a period of many years.

Several years ago, I began to show some of Milwaukee’s older buildings to Frank Crivello. Over a period of time, he bought three large north side buildings from me and immediately began total restorations of all three. I should mention that they totaled almost 800,000 square feet.

Today, all those buildings have renovated and leased to high-quality tenants. The obvious beneficiary is the city of Milwaukee, which has seen substantial increases in assessed value and badly needed tax revenue. Clearly, Milwaukee is seeing a surge in new construction the likes of which I’ve never seen before. But that certainly does not minimize the role Crivello has played in bringing back deteriorated buildings and adding jobs where they are badly needed.

Robert Dufek