Bruce A. Keyes

Of Counsel

Overview

Bruce A. Keyes is a business lawyer, dividing his practice between the national Real Estate Practice and Environmental Practice with a focus on complicated urban development projects and New Market Tax Credits. He has practiced extensively in the areas of brownfields and public/private partnerships and served as lead counsel for Discovery World, Ballpark Commons stadium and entertainment district (which is the largest development in Wisconsin to be located on a closed landfill), the Milwaukee Public Museum’s current relocation project and the Watertown Apartment development underway on the former County Grounds.

He has led New Market Tax Credit financings for private sector companies, including UP Paper, Michels Corporation, Winsert, and Jonco Industries and capably negotiated local, state and federal financial incentives when they were needed to ensure the success of a project.

He has played a leading role in a number of nonprofit initiatives, including the development of the Hank Aaron State Trail and co-founded Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee’s nonprofit bikeshare operator. He has played a founding/leading role in Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc. and the Harbor District, Inc., working to redevelop several of the largest waterfront brownfield tracts in the state of Wisconsin.

His practice has necessitated expertise in the use and regulation of federal funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

Recognition, Honors & Awards

Bruce has been peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system.

Bruce has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Environmental Law (2008 - 2022) and Natural Resources Law (2012 - 2022). Bruce was named the Best Lawyers® 2021 Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Milwaukee.

Bruce was recognized in M Magazine’s November 2013 issue as a “Game Changer” for his work with the Menomonee Valley Partners, being “instrumental in shepherding many of the area’s most exciting developments from conception through ribbon-cutting and beyond.” He is also a recipient of the “Gordon Sinykin Award of Excellence” by the State Bar of Wisconsin, shared in the 2007 and 2009 Phoenix Awards and a “Milwaukee Award for Neighborhood Development Innovations.” Bruce also received the Lynford Lardner Community Service Award and was selected as one of the “40 Under Forty” by the Business Journal of Milwaukee.

Affiliations & Community Engagement

  • Discovery World, Ltd., secretary, Board Executive Committee
  • Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc., board president
  • Bublr Bikes, board chair
  • Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail, Inc., past president
  • Congregation Emanu El B’Ne Jeshurun, past president
  • Active member of the State of Wisconsin Brownfield Study Group since 1998

Education

Bruce started his education in the Politics and Values program at George Washington University and graduated with honors in economics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison where he went on to complete a Master of Science in environmental studies and earned his J.D. degree in 1990. He served as a law clerk in the Eastern District of Wisconsin before coming to Foley.

Admissions

  • Wisconsin