#66: Neumann Enterprises

A need for a different type of green inspired this environmental developer to start his business.

Company: NeumannEnterprises, a Nashotah, Wisconsin, conservation residentialdeveloper
Founder: Mark W. Neumann
Began: January 1999
2002 Sales: $7.3 million

Why did you start thisbusiness?
Mark Neumann: The opportunity to be financially successfulin a business that focused on environmentally desirable goals ofpreserving green spaces in a rapidly developing part ofsoutheastern Wisconsin was the primary motivation.

Neumann EnterprisesOur companyrecognizes that as the population continues to grow at a rate of 1percent annually, we'll see continued demand to also increaseour housing supply by 1 percent annually. This demand could easily,over a 10 to 15 year period of time, eat up the majority of ourgreen spaces, especially in areas like southeastern Wisconsin. Thisis a common problem in many areas around the country.

In eight projects over the past three years, we've managedto supply housing opportunities while putting conservationeasements in place to preserve more than 400 prime acres of greenspaces. It should be noted that this has been accomplished withoutthe use of tax dollars. Not a bad start.

When did you know you'd madeit?
Neumann: When we started, our goal was to set aside 1,000prime Wisconsin acres in open green space without the use orbenefit of tax dollars. We now know how to do it profitably, butwe're still on the way to "making it."

What did you think you'd blownit?
Neumann: We've had to walk away from several majorprojects because I couldn't get the governing entities in theseareas to see the vision clearly. Various rules and regulationsprevented the type of development that preserved the greatestamounts of green space while also recognizing the requirement ofeconomic viability in our work.

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