Danielle Bergner Photo

Danielle M. Bergner

Managing Partner, Milwaukee Office
Practice Group Chair, Real Estate

Overview

Danielle is widely recognized for her solutions-oriented approach to complex real estate projects and transactions. Clients benefit from her strategic problem-solving skills, her creative use of public-private partnerships (P3), and a no-nonsense approach to dealmaking.

Danielle is experienced in managing unconventional mixed-finance transactions involving Tax Incremental Financing (TIF), New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), Historic Tax Credits (HTC), HUD financing, and bond financing.

 

With her depth of knowledge and range of relationships and experience, Danielle is able to effectively assist clients in reaching their business and community development goals. Her clients include real estate development firms, real estate owners and investors, companies, leaders, non-profit agencies, and governmental entities. They seek her counsel on a wide array of matters, including:

  • Financing and development of professional sports and convention facilities, community and cultural assets, medical office buildings, multi-family residential and mixed-use commercial developments, hotel and retail facilities, industrial facilities, and commercial office buildings
  • Zoning and land use entitlements
  • Tax Incremental Financing
  • Commercial purchase and sale transactions
  • Commercial leasing and property management
  • Urban brownfield redevelopment
  • Lakefront real estate interests and the Public Trust Doctrine

Experience

A trusted partner on complex financing and development projects

Danielle has represented two governmental entities in connection with the financing and development of a new downtown $500 million professional sports and entertainment arena. The project involves multiple sources of public and private financing, complex real estate, and land use challenges, and requires a high level of coordination between multiple levels of governmental and private parties. 

Adaptive reuse of a historic urban property

Danielle represented the development team in a catalytic, mixed-use urban redevelopment project involving the adaptive reuse of a historic school building, construction of 70 multifamily units, and construction of commercial space to serve as a new home for an important community and cultural institution.  The project involved a complex mix of financing, including Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, Tax Incremental Financing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME and AHP funds, Senior and Subordinate debt, and private philanthropic support.  The project involved a high level of coordination between multiple lenders, governmental agencies, contractors, investors and community stakeholders. Danielle led all aspects of the negotiations and helped to ensure a successful closing and project start.  

Preservation of a major cultural asset

Danielle served as the lead real estate attorney in the negotiation and drafting of a long-term Lease and Development Agreement that facilitated the improvement and expansion of a major downtown arts and cultural institution. The project involved a thoughtful balancing of interests, coordination amongst multiple private organizations and governmental agencies, and the resolution of complex legal issues.    

Public Sector perspective, in-house experience

Before joining Michael Best, Danielle represented the City of Milwaukee and all of its agencies in matters involving high-value real estate transactions, major urban redevelopment initiatives, public finance transactions, zoning and land use regulation, and public contracting. She handled work involving the City’s highest profile real estate assets, such as the Summerfest grounds and the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the award-winning Menomonee Valley Industrial Center. While with the City, she was appointed Deputy City Attorney to oversee the initial development and implementation of the Neighborhood Revitalization section of the City Attorney's Office. She has worked closely with private companies, elected officials, and municipal staff throughout southeastern Wisconsin on a wide range of projects and legal matters.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Real Estate Law, 2018
  • Honored as a Philanthropic 5 award recipient, United Way, 2017
  • Recognized as one of the "40 under 40" by the Milwaukee Business Journal, 2015<
  • Named a "Leader of the Future" by Milwaukee's Public Policy Forum, 2014
  • Named an  “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Wisconsin Law Journal, 2010

Professional Activities

  • Board of Directors, NAIOP Wisconsin
  • Board of Directors, Forward Community Investments, Inc.
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Marquette University Law School – Land Use
  • Member, Milwaukee Choice Neighborhoods Steering Committee
  • Member, WHEDA Collective Impact Leadership Team
  • Member, Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin
  • Board Member, State Bar of Wisconsin Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Member, American Bar Association  
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, Milwaukee Bar Association

Education

Admission

Community Involvement

  • Board President, CORE/El Centro Inc.
  • Board Member and Chair of Community Affairs, Professional Dimensions
  • Board Member, NW Impact, a subsidiary of Northwest Side Community Development Corporation
  • Former Vice President, 30th Street Industrial Corridor Corp.
  • Volunteer Attorney, Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic
  • Volunteer Attorney, Milwaukee Justice Center
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