The Recap

Date: October 27th, 2016 8:30am – 5:30pm
Location: Madison, WI
Description: NAIOP WI , the Commercial Real Estate Development Association and NEWaukee present the 2nd Storefronts Conference, a day-long conference that focuses on holistic solutions, national trends, best practices, and success stories that lead to action plans and spark ideas to fill empty storefronts. The Storefronts Conference features national and local speakers that have implemented practices and tactics in their own communities and across the country to address vacant storefronts. The inaugural Empty Storefronts Conference is hosted in storefronts and neighborhoods across Milwaukee.

Eppstein Uhen Architects
Hovde Properties
Majic Productions
Ryan Companies
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Community Partners:
1000 Friends of Wisconsin
City of Madison
Downtown Madison
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Smart Growth Greater Madison
University of Wisconsin – Extension
Visit Madison
Wisconsin Rural Partners

Social Media:
  • Facebook: 8.5k Facebook Users Reached
  • Linkedin: 12,638 LinkedIn Accounts Reached
  • Twitter: 159 Tweets 170k Twitter Accounts Reached

Attendance: 111 participants
Website Traffic: Unique Visits: 29,656


Justin Ley // Hoodstarter – Deathstars, Cows, and Community Meetings: Why crowdsourcing is the future of urban development
Eric Ho //MiLES – PROTOTYPING, EXPERIMENTING, & UTILIZING SPACES as a Way to Collaborate and Test New Ideas
Kelsey Otero // Marquette, Near West Side Commercial Corridor Development Working Team – Fill That Storefront: Revitalizing Neighborhoods via Small Business Competitions
Nora Schmidt // Viroqua Chamber Main Street – Making Big with Small and How You Can Fill Storefronts in Your Community Too
Line Sandsmark // Shunkpike – Working with the Wizards of Emerald City
Joe Truesdale & Jenna Floberg // Fond du Lac – Oh Crepe! A Pop Up Fond du Lac Story
Rachel Quednau // Strong Towns – Small Bets To Build Strong Towns
Anthony Askew // Motor City Match – Motor City Match for Small Business & Developers
Amy Griel & Francisco Loyola // Kenosha Creative Space – Be Careful What You Wish For
Matt Wagner // National Main Streets Inc. – New Trends in Filling Storefronts along Main Street
Gary Toth // Project for Public Spaces – Streets as Places
Mike Slavish // Hovde Properties – A Developer’s Dilemma: What to do When the Numbers Don’t Add Up (No Presentation)

How To Fill Those Empty Storefronts

Urban Milwaukee
Oct 26th, 2016

“Just wanted to congratulate you on a great conference. Truly enjoyed it and picked up some great ideas and contacts while there”

— Matt Wagner Ph.D., VP of Community Revitalization, National Main Streets Center, Inc (Chicago, IL)

“Thanks so much for inviting us to speak at the Empty Storefronts conference. We had a lot of fun.”

— Justin Ley, Co-Founder, Hoodstarter

“What a pleasure to chat with you and to be part of the Vacant Storefronts Conference yesterday. Bravo to you and your team for a well executed event and for the remarkable things you are doing as educators and “do-ers” in your community.”

— Nora Schmidt, Executive Director, Viroqua Chamber Main Street

“I just wanted to write and say thanks for inviting me to the Storefronts Conference. It was a lot of fun and you guys did a great job organizing. Looking forward to hearing if some positive results ensue.”

— Jeff Wood Principle, The Overhead Wire

“I hope all is well. I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for the invitation to last week’s conference. I connected with some great people and thoroughly enjoyed the presentations I got to see. I wish I’d been able to see more, but I look forward to reviewing the presentations to learn more about other great things happening across the country. I also got great feedback on my presentation with a highly engaged audience. Kudos to you and your team for orchestrating a stellar event.”

— Anthony L. Askew Program Manager, Motor City Match Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

“You, the Newaukee team and the crew of NAIOP-WI are fabulous! It was truly an honor to be part of the day. Definitely excited to stay in touch and crossing fingers we’ll find ways to do more work together :)”

— Carol Stakenas Executive Director, No Longer Empty

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2020 NEWaukee Night Market Season Canceled