Northwestern Mutual’s New HQ Opens in Milwaukee

The 1.1 million-square-foot project on Lake Michigan will house about 2,400 employees, relocating them from the company’s downtown and Franklin campuses.

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in Milwaukee
Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in Milwaukee

The 1.1 million-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project along the Lake Michigan lakefront in downtown Milwaukee has celebrated its grand opening.

Gilbane Building Co., of Providence, R.I., was the project’s construction manager, along with joint venture partner CG Schmidt, a Milwaukee-based construction management and general contracting firm.

The 32-story tower adjoins a three-story, two-block-long space known as the Commons. Amenities at the complex include a three-acre public green space with gardens and trees, a coffee shop, an interactive museum, a 75,000-square-foot food server on the second and third floors, a 25,000-square-foot fitness center, and outdoor balconies on the 31st and 32nd floors.

The project was designed by Pickard Chilton, led by Principal Jon Pickard, according to Northwestern Mutual.

Construction on the project began in fall 2014. The building will house about 2,400 employees who will move into the new workspace from other buildings that make up Northwestern Mutual’s downtown and Franklin campuses.

Gilbane did not respond to Commercial Property Executive’s request for additional information.

No dollar amount was disclosed for the development, but when the project was first announced in September 2013, it was slated to cost $450 million.

Small firms engaged in the project

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons
Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, Milwaukee

Gilbane worked with multiple partners, including the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, Milwaukee’s Office of Small Business Development and the Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades, so as to engage local and small construction firms and related services. Northwestern Mutual in turn committed to abide by the City of Milwaukee’s Small Business Enterprises requirements and Residents Preference Program.

As of the end of 2016, Small Business Enterprises reportedly had been awarded more than $121.5 million in contracts and commitments. In addition, Milwaukee residents eligible under the RPP performed 45 percent of the construction hours on the project.

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has $250.4 billion in assets, $28.2 billion in revenues, more than $1.6 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force and more 4.4 million customers. The company holds more than $100 billion of client assets as a part of its wealth management company and investment services.

Image courtesy of Gilbane Building Co.