Bruce Keyes is a business lawyer, dividing his practice between Real Estate and Environmental Practices, with a focus on complicated urban development projects, project incentives and New Market Tax Credits. He has practiced extensively in the areas of brownfields and public/private partnerships and serves as lead counsel for the Milwaukee Public Museum’s current relocation project and the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood redevelopment of the 107-acre former Chrysler facility in “uptown” Kenosha, Wisconsin. He served as lead counsel for the development and financing of Discovery World, Ltd. and development of Ballpark Commons stadium and entertainment district (which is the largest development in Wisconsin to be located on a closed landfill). He has led New Market Tax Credit financings for private sector companies, including UP Paper, Michels Corporation, Super Steel, and Winsert and capably negotiated local, state and federal financial incentives when they were needed to ensure the success of a project.
Bruce’s recent successes include a cost recovery settlement under RCRA for historic property contamination and several ongoing complex cleanup actions of client properties by prior responsible parties under CERCLA. 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 was tasked by the Mayor of Milwaukee to jump start the Harbor District, Inc., working to redevelop several of the largest waterfront brownfield tracts in the state of Wisconsin.
His practice often involves the use of complex, and highly regulated local, state and 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.
Awards and Recognition
- Peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system
- The Best Lawyers © Environmental Law (2008 – 2023)
- The Best Lawyers © Natural Resources Law (2012 – 2023)
- The Best Lawyers® 2021 Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Milwaukee
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the practice area of Natural Resources & Environment (2023)
- 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”
- Recipient of the “Gordon Sinykin Award of Excellence” by the State Bar of Wisconsin
- Recipient of the 2007 and 2009 Phoenix Awards
- Recipient of a “Milwaukee Award for Neighborhood Development Innovations”
- Received the Lynford Lardner Community Service Award
- Selected as one of the “40 Under Forty” by the Milwaukee Business Journal
- Discovery World, Ltd.
- Board Chair (2022-present)
- Board Secretary (1995-2022)
- Board Member (1995-present)
- Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc.,
- Board President (2015-present)
- Board Member (2005-present)
- Bublr Bikes (Midwest Bikeshare, Inc.)
- Board Chair (2011-present)
- Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail, Inc, past president and board member
- Congregation Emanu El B’Ne Jeshurun, past president and Trustee
- Member of the State of Wisconsin Brownfield Study Group, 1998-2021