2017: A very good year for Madison business!

From the pages of In Business magazine.

As we put a bow on 2017, it’s time for my annual look back at some of the biggest business news stories that took place this past year and should have an impact on this community for years to come:

1. Crossfit Games a success in year one — A big tip of the cap to Deb Archer and her team at the Madison Area Sports Commission for recruiting this global annual event to Madison for the next three years. By all accounts, the first year was a huge success as thousands flocked to town to take in the games and festivities. This was a major coup for Madison, as it was the first time this event has been held outside of California in its 10-year existence, and officials estimate it brought over $7 million in direct spending to the area.

2. Navitus & West Place: A perfect match — It appears that a long-term plan for the old Famous Footwear headquarters (and home to Madison College’s West Campus for several years) is finally in place, as Navitus was announced this summer as the anchor tenant for Livesey Co.’s “West Place” development that will go into this space. The mixed-use project has been scaled down from initial plans, but it will allow for future growth for Navitus in this location. The company will bring an estimated 350 new jobs to the city.

3. East Washington developments continue to shine — The makeover that is currently taking place on the East Washington corridor continues to create a shiny gateway into downtown Madison. In recent years, we’ve seen the completion of such projects as the Constellation, Galaxie, Union Corners, Lyric, and the AC Hotel (with breathtaking views from Eno Vino on the top floor) that have revitalized this area of town. More is on the way — additional hotel developments and more mixed-use developments such as the Spark and Cosmos (with the Sylvee music venue) are in the works.

To wrap up, I want to give my best to a handful of Madison’s finest business leaders who announced their retirements in 2017: Susan Schmitz of DMI, Ellen Foley of WPS, Dick Brachman of Town Bank, Ted DeDee of the Overture Center, and Jim Imhoff Jr. of First Weber highlight the list of those deciding to “hang up their jerseys.” They had amazing careers, and I’m sure their positive impact will continue!

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