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Keller Real Estate Group Starts Construction on $25 Million Downtown Landmark Development

New Gateway for Downtown Madison
Keller Real Estate Group Breaks Ground On a $25 Million, Multi-Family Housing initiative “Avenir”
A transformative development for the corner of West Washington Avenue and Bassett Street

Upscale Project includes 96 apartment homes, 2,000 sq. ft. of specialty retail, 100 heated indoor parking spaces, 100+ bike parking spots and a Bike Maintenance Station for residents. Completion slated for April 2021.

Madison, WI—March 1, 2021—-Keller Real Estate Group (Keller) has started construction on the $25 million AVENIR, a mixed-use development with 96 apartment homes and 2500 sq. ft of ground-floor specialty retail space on 510 West Washington Avenue. The six-story AVENIR will transform a prominent and formerly underutilized ¾ acre downtown site, into a vibrant multi-family residential community that will create a signature gateway to the downtown and add much needed density to the existing stock of quality housing. Nine inefficient and outdated rental properties , owned by Keller, were demolished to make way for the project. The upscale AVENIR, (named for the future or time to come), includes studio, one-, two-and three-bedroom apartment homes and is slated for occupancy in spring of 2022.
Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, who represents the area, applauded the AVENIR development for embracing the Mifflandia Neighborhood Plan (adopted in 2019) in shaping its design and for creating an iconic benchmark project to help guide future initiatives:

“As one of the first significant development projects since the Mifflandia Neighborhood Plan was adopted, Keller’s AVENIR is a standard bearer in expressing the criteria and vision outlined in the plan and a genuine testament to the hundreds of neighborhood stakeholders who actively participated in that important process.”

Alder Verveer added: “The AVENIR will be an enduring asset in beautifying and animating the West Washington Avenue corridor, and act as a catalyst for thoughtful development initiatives that are steered by the Mifflandia Plan in the future.”

The 6-story AVENIR takes advantage of its expansive site with an open H -shaped layout and features white brick construction that rises up through the first four floors. Herringbone patterned bricks will highlight the window spandrels. The stepped back upper two stories of the building will be clad with a lightweight, medium grey cement board siding and accented with black metal window frames and balcony railings. Generous building setbacks, recessed and cantilevered balconies, tall windows, rooftop terraces, a series of walk-up apartments and canopied entrance ways all modulate the scale of the AVENIR complex.

An inviting ground floor corner storefront space at AVENIR will be designed with glass and transparent materials to engage bypassing pedestrians. Along the street corner, an 18” raised terrace will provide outdoor gathering and dining space, further animating the street. Landscaping plans will sensitively preserve large existing trees and a newly planted double tree canopy will help create a special sense of place for the neighborhood.

The AVENIR is conveniently located within a few blocks of the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Overture Center for the Arts, and the Kohl Center on the lively Washington Avenue Corridor that is home to over 40 businesses, including locally owned specialty restaurants, retail outlets and fitness studios. Residents of the AVENIR will enjoy a host of amenities including an outdoor elevated terrace and lounge that includes a conference room, a grill station , outdoor seating and dining and a shaded trellis area overlooking West Washington Avenue; a yoga and wellness center, secure package delivery, 100 heated underground parking spaces, over 100 enclosed bike parking spots and a bike repair station.

Sustainable elements incorporated in the AVENIR design will include “green” roofs on the 2nd and 5th floor roof terraces, CO and NO2 gas detection in the enclosed garage for intelligent exhaust air and make-up air control, and a 92% + efficient central domestic hot water system. LED lighting will be utilized throughout, including occupancy sensors in public spaces and the parking garage.

Construction and permanent financing for the $25 million AVENIR is being provided by the First Business Bank. The general contractor for AVENIR is VJS Construction Services, a family -owned company founded in 1947, and headquartered in Pewaukee, WI. Madison, WI-based Potter Lawson, Inc. an award-winning architecture, planning and interior design firm established in 1913 is the architect of record.

About Keller Real Estate Group
A trusted regional developer and property manager recognized for high qaulity and enduring projects, Keller Real Estate Group was founded in Madison,WI in 1950, and maintains offices in a historic 1931 Art Deco building at 448 W. Washington Ave.The company’s roots and capital investments in downtown Madison are deep with award winning mixed use projects such as Bassett Walk, City Place Apartments, Tuscan Place, and Washington Court and Wilson Bay that have helped strengthen and revitalize the Bassett Neighborhood. Keller Real Estate Group

Photo by Richard Hurd

Barrier-Breaking Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad Will Discuss Her Experiences as an American Muslim Athlete and Changemaker

Feb. 19, 2021

Contact Information:
Shauna Breneman, Communications Director


MADISON – Fencer and Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad made history in 2016 when she became the first American to compete for an Olympic medal while wearing a hijab and the first American Muslim woman to win an Olympic medal.

Muhammad will discuss diversity and activism in sports and how her identity as a woman of color and an American Muslim impacts her within the male-dominated sports world during a free, virtual, live event, called “Breaking the Olympic Standard: A Conversation with Ibtihaj Muhammad,” hosted by the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS) Committee on March 10 at 7:30 p.m. CDT.

WUD DLS invites all, including those not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to attend this free event. Those interested in attending can register here to receive the event livestream link in an email.

Muhammad says that fencing, the sport in which she earned her medal, found her. She played many sports throughout her childhood, including tennis and track. However, she found her mother often had to modify her uniforms by adding long trousers or long sleeves to follow her values and Muslim faith.

Then, one day, her mother drove by a local high school, and she and Muhammad saw fencing, which included uniforms that would need no alterations. At the age of 13, she tried fencing and found a sport that she loved and that would not compromise her values.

While she enjoyed fencing, she recalls moments when she was told she did not belong in her sport. She hopes that her accomplishments in fencing will help challenge misconceptions. Muhammad believes that sports can change the world.

In addition to her bronze Olympic medal, the Duke University graduate also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2014 Senior World Championships, and she holds four bronze Senior World medals.

Muhammad’s other accomplishments include but are not limited to launching a fashion brand, called LOUELLA BY IBTIHAJ, with her sisters; being named one of the 2016 “TIME” 100 most influential people; and authoring the book “The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family.”

Mattel also created a Barbie doll in her likeness. The doll is the first Mattel Barbie doll to wear a hijab.

The company’s description of the doll includes the following: “As a brilliant athlete, entrepreneur and inspiration to girls who never saw themselves represented, Ibtihaj is not only celebrated for her accolades but for embracing what made her stand out. Ibtihaj is honored as a Barbie™ ‘Shero,’ a woman who has broken boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls.”

“Ibtihaj Muhammad has accomplished history-making feats while never compromising who she is and what she believes in,” said Caoilfhinn Rauwerdink, WUD DLS Committee associate director of marketing and outreach. “Attendees of this discussion will undoubtedly leave inspired to overcome whatever challenges lie before them.”

WUD DLS hosts lectures by experts to encourage thought-provoking conversations. WUD includes 11 committees and six Wisconsin Hoofers clubs that program thousands of events each year.

Those interested in attending the Committee’s upcoming event can register here.


About the Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series Committee

The Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series Committee contributes to the educational experience of University of Wisconsin–Madison students, Wisconsin Union members and community members by bringing engaging and influential people to campus. Founded in 1987, the series aims to expose the campus community to a diverse and vibrant array of people, backgrounds, and ideas. Learn more:

[Note: Click here to download a photo of Ibtihaj Muhammad. Photo provided by Keppler Speakers.]

To read this release online, visit

Photo by Richard Hurd

CEC Announces the Return of its Business Technology Conference in 2021

Celebrating 75 Years of Technology & Innovation: Past, Present, and Future

Hiawatha, IA (Feb. 16, 2021) – CEC (Communications Engineering Company), a nationally recognized technology solutions provider and systems integrator in the Midwest, is excited to announce the return of its popular Business Technology Conference (BTC) on October 21 at the Doubletree in downtown Cedar Rapids, IA.

BTC will help CEC close out a year-long celebration of its 75th anniversary by connecting Iowa and Wisconsin business leaders to new and relevant technologies, demonstrations, and innovative ideas to improve communication, collaboration, and safety. With a theme of 75 Years of Technology & Innovation: Past, Present, and Future – the conference will be an opportunity for organizations to assess their technology foundation, learn about trends, and work on their technology vision and roadmap.

“BTC has grown into a regional event where customers can experience the latest technology,” states Randy Montelius, CEC VP of Technology. “The single day format makes it easier to fit into their schedule and provides a unique platform to hear first-hand how peers are meeting the challenges of today’s world.”

CEC’s trusted technology partners—leaders in AV, fire and security, healthcare communications, IT, and two-way communications—will also be onsite to update attendees on the technology set to support digital experiences and new ways of working (NWOW).

CEC’s Business Technology Conference has become a must-attend event for technology decision-makers in hospitals and long-term care settings, schools and campuses, manufacturing facilities, and corporate offices. In 2021, the event returns as one way to honor the past, talk about the challenges of the present, and plan for what’s to come.

The valuable information unveiled at this year’s BTC won’t be found anywhere else in the Midwest. Attendees can use what they learn to stay one step ahead of the rapidly changing technology landscape.

For more information, visit  

About CEC

CEC employs more than 300 professional and technical staff in eight locations in Iowa and Wisconsin. The company offers solution design, integration, and technical services specializing in audio/video, fire and security, healthcare communications, IT, and two-way communications. Focused on creating world class technology experiences, the CEC team partners with clients to understand their businesses, tailor solutions, and plan for future technology needs. Visit

About BTC

Now in its 13th year, CEC’s Business Technology Conference (BTC) provides free education for technology influencers and decision-makers. The free event delivers several tracks of education sessions, showcases the latest technology from trusted technology providers, and supports networking among professionals across the Midwest.

Media Contact: Angie Worrell,, 319.731.1245   | #BTC2021

Photo by Richard Hurd

Meccore String Quartet to Perform for Wisconsin Union Theater Patrons Feb. 28

Feb. 15, 2021

Contact Information:
Shauna Breneman, Communications Director


MADISON – The Wisconsin Union Theater will stream an online Concert Series performance by the Meccore String Quartet on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. CDT.

The Quartet will perform the String Quartet No. 21 in D major, K. 575 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, String Quartet No. 3 “Leaves from an Unwritten Diary” by Krzysztof Penderecki, and String Quartet in A minor, Op. 132 by Ludwig van Beethoven.

The ensemble includes violinists Wojciech Koprowski and Aleksandra Bryła, violist Michał Bryła, and cellist Marcin Mączyński.

As one of Europe’s most compelling ensembles, the Meccore String Quartet has appeared at many influential music festivals around the globe, such as the Rheingau Musik Festival and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The ensemble was the first ever Polish string quartet to perform during the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the Bundestag, the national parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Meccore String Quartet has also received many international awards, including a nomination for the Paszport Polityki award in the classic music category for its “innovative approach to the music and for breaking the musical stereotypes.” The musicians won the Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition and Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition.

When they are not performing, Meccore’s members lead chamber music and individual instrumental classes at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland.

Praised for their technical accuracy, Meccore is also known for its deep musicality and expressiveness.

“The Meccore String Quartet brings an unparalleled energy and emotional depth to its performances,” Wisconsin Union Theater Director Elizabeth Snodgrass said. “This ensemble is admired the world over, and our patrons will experience why the Quartet has earned global praise during its virtual Wisconsin Union Theater performance.”

            Ticket purchase information can be found here. Tickets for this online event are $10 for UW-Madison students; $17 for Wisconsin Union members, UW-Madison staff and faculty, and students that do not attend UW-Madison; and $20 for all other patrons.

The Wisconsin Union Theater team presents its Concert Series season in collaboration with the student-led Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Performing Arts Committee, which, along with 10 other WUD committees and six clubs, promotes and runs more than 1,000 Wisconsin Union events each year.

The Meccore String Quartet’s performance is sponsored by the David and Kato Perlman Chamber Music Fund.

The Wisconsin Union Theater presents this event, in part, with the help of financial support from Wisconsin Arts Board funding from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Wisconsin Union Theater team is committed to taking action against racial inequities. For a full statement on the Theater’s stance, click here.

The Wisconsin Union Theater team strives for all of its spaces to be accessible. Those that need accommodations can reach out to the Theater team at

For more information about the Meccore String Quartet’s upcoming performance, visit   


About the Wisconsin Union Theater

For more than 75 years, the Wisconsin Union Theater has served as a center for cultural activity in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The Theater hosts performances in multiple locations, including Memorial Union, and has an expansive history of remarkable performances. The Wisconsin Union Theater is part of the Wisconsin Union, a membership organization that blends study and leisure to create unique out-of-classroom opportunities. Learn more:

About the Wisconsin Union Directorate Performing Arts Committee

The Wisconsin Union Directorate Performing Arts Committee plans and promotes events for the historic Wisconsin Union Theater stages. The student-led committee programs a variety of events to provide a diverse and cultural experience for students, faculty, alumni, community members and visitors. Learn more:

[Click here to download a photo of the Meccore String Quartet. Photo by Arkadiusz Berbecki.]

To read this release online, visit

Photo by Richard Hurd

Wood Communications Group: Become a local leader — apply to Leadership Greater Madison

If you care about your community and want to make a difference — Leadership Greater Madison is for you! Leadership Greater Madison is a non-partisan, civic education and leadership-training program with a mission to inform, connect and engage a diverse group of individuals so they might be inspired to serve, lead and make a difference in their communities.

Become an effective community leader. Join the nearly 800 local leaders who are LGM graduates and apply today for the next LGM class that will kick off soon. The online application can be found at Financial assistance is available to qualified applicants.

Leadership Greater Madison is a joint collaboration between the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and Wood Communications Group.