merge midwest opportunity zone fund

We partner with progressive communities to build upon the vibrancy of their downtowns with next-generation mixed-use development

who we are

Brent Dahlstrom - Merge Urban Development Group

Brent Dahlstrom

  • 2007 UNI Alumni, Student-athlete
  • Developed and owns over 1100 residential units in Iowa
  • Awards
    • 2018 National Community Development Association – Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award
    • 2018 Cedar Valley 20 Under 40
    • 2017 Iowa Finance Authority – Iowa Multifamily Housing Development Award
    • 2017 UNI Emerging Philanthropist Award
Joy Hannemann - Merge

Joy Hannemann

  • 2020 Master of Business Administration (MBA) – University of Wisconsin – Wisconsin School of Business
  • 2010 BA Mass Communications & Journalism – Public Relations, Marketing – University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
  • Experience in economic development, construction, and real estate investing – in the four years preceding Merge, Joy managed real estate and startup holdings within a $100M+ family office
Dan Drendel - Merge

Dan Drendel, AIA, LEED AP

Slingshot Architecture

  • 2007 Master of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2001 Bachelor of Science in Education, Southeast Missouri State University
  • 2018 Des Moines 40 under 40
  • AIA Iowa Board of Directors
  • ULI Iowa Steering Committee
  • One of three partners at Slingshot Architecture, leading design strategy for a team that has completed over 50 urban revitalization projects in midwest cities.

our capital partner

Skydeck Holdings

Skydeck, based in Chicago, is a private investment firm investing capital on behalf of the Polsky family. Skydeck invests in opportunistic and income producing real property with experienced operators. Because of the group’s proprietary capital base, Skydeck is not bound by any pre-defined time horizons or investment hurdles, and can be very opportunistic.


The foundation of Skydeck is the experience and entrepreneurial spirit of its founder, Michael Polsky, who founded Indeck Energy Services, Skygen Energy and his latest venture, Invenergy. The name Skydeck pays homage to the successful exits of Skygen and Indeck. These three successful businesses were built from the ground up into multi-billion dollar enterprises. Today, Invenergy is North America’s largest independent, privately held renewable energy provider and is leading the industry and country to a clean energy future.