At a time when many developers are struggling to complete projects, Wangard Partners Inc. is growing its portfolio.
From building the new 1910 On the Water apartment project in Milwaukee to redeveloping the former Downer Garage into a strip mall on Milwaukee’s North Avenue, the company is getting projects done.
“Stewart (Wangard) is straightforward and doesn’t dance around when it comes to a project,” said Rocky Marcoux, commissioner for the Milwaukee Department of City Development. “He’s all about how everyone can work together to meet the goals.”
Chairman and CEO Wangard credited the Milwaukee-based firm’s success to the team of professionals he has put together since founding the company in 1985.
“My staff is accomplished and passionate about what they do,” he said. “As a firm, we try to focus on projects that have a purpose. Sustainability and comfort are key.”
In spring, Wangard Partners will break ground on the $20 million, multiphase Park East Square project, a multiuse development in downtown Milwaukee.
Success, Wangard said, depends on planning for the company’s future and finding ways to meet those goals, no matter who the client is.
“With commercial clients, you need to realize you are working for them and making sure their needs are being met,” he said. “When we do residential projects, it’s about what’s beyond the front door. It’s about creating a community and putting in places where tenants can gather.”
Wangard said the company weathered the economic downturn effectively by relying on reserves and building a good team.
“We also have solid banking relationships with Associated Bank and others,” he said, “and that’s essential to getting projects done.”
And the company, Wangard said, is continuing to add to its stable of talent.
“People sometimes can’t believe we were hiring as other people were cutting back,” he said, “but I believe that if you invest in your employees and invest in your company’s infrastructure that it will serve you in the long run.”