Retail Expert to keynote InDevelopment

Posted on Jan 12, 2016 :: Connections
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

The level of commercial development activity is an indicator of the economic   health of a community, and perhaps the most obvious signal of success is the robustness of retail business. Like much of the country, the Midwest and the state, Northeast Wisconsin is enjoying an upswing in retail, says Ross Koepsel, a partner in Commercial Property Associates, Inc., Milwaukee.

“Overall, it’s a very rosy picture for the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin,” Koepsel says. “Whether it’s retailers trying to increase store counts, investors getting better returns or landlords looking at filling vacancies or raising rents, activity has certainly returned. But really, the best is yet to come.”

Koepsel will be the keynote speaker at Insight’s seventh annual InDevelopment conference March 23 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton. Planned as an afternoon event starting at 2:30 p.m., InDevelopment will convene commercial and economic development professionals and others interested in the commercial real estate industry and related industries. The event will include presentations on some of the region’s major development projects, information from economic development professionals from the New North region and plenty of time for networking.

A self-proclaimed “retail guy,” Koepsel will put the Northeast Wisconsin development climate in perspective with the state and the country, offering insight into what makes this area unique and how developers can take advantage of opportunities in the works here.

“I’ll look into our crystal ball and talk about what retail may look like here in 12 months, in 24 months, and what that means for the retailers themselves,” Koepsel says. He will address how national retailers make decisions regarding markets, properties, deals and offer insight regarding their thought process.

“How these guys work is something of a mystery,” he says. “These days, things are pretty sophisticated; they have these models they’ve developed and they’re pretty accurate.”

Koepsel works in tenant representation, investment sales, new development and redevelopment projects, restaurant and vacant land sales, ground leases, property assemblages, lease renewal negotiations, relocations and disposition of excess real estate. He has been involved in more than 350 closed deals totaling nearly 5.5 million square feet. Early in his career, he focused primarily upon shopping center leasing.

He has successfully completed transactions with numerous industry-leading retailers.

Innovation Award nominations due Jan. 22

Winners to be named at Insight’s THINC! event May 19 at UW-Fox Valley

Do you know an innovative company? Could it be yours? Contact Insight by Jan. 22 and that company will be considered for an Insight Innovation Award.

The Insight Innovation Awards are designed to encourage innovation among businesses in Northeast Wisconsin that lead to breakthrough technologies, processes and/or company cultures and make an important, positive impact on their companies, employees, customers, vendors, industries, communities and/or the environment.

Eligibility: Any company based in the 18-county region of the New North that has been in business for at least two years as of Jan. 1, 2016. Companies may be headquartered outside of the region but applicants must have leadership in Northeast Wisconsin.

Insight will contact the companies you nominate to encourage them to apply. Applicants will be asked to make the case – in 800 words or less – for how their company is an innovation winner. Applications are due Feb. 19. For details, go to and click THINC!