"[This] marks a major milestone in our investment to create a connected, world-class campus for Northwestern Mutual, bringing our workforce and community together as we build lasting financial security for clients, policyowners, and future generations," said Northwestern Mutual Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer John Schlifske. "We extend our sincere gratitude to all of our employees, project partners, and community leaders for their respective roles in achieving this vision and for making the Milwaukee community a great place to call home."
The celebratory event included elected officials, business and community leaders, and company leadership to kickoff the project milestone. In February, the company announced that over the next three to five years, nearly 2,000 employees will transition from the Franklin campus to the reimagined downtown campus.
"Northwestern Mutual's North Office Building Modernization project demonstrates the company's commitment to investing in its employees and in Milwaukee," said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson. "Our community is a great place to live and work, and this investment will visually enhance our city's skyline, while adding value to the city for generations to come by bringing talent and furthering economic impact."
Gilbane Building Company, in partnership with CG Schmidt, will serve as the general contractor and construction manager to redevelop the North Office Building and transform Milwaukee's skyline. Leaders from both companies gave remarks at the celebration.
"We are thrilled to be working with a diverse and talented group of trade partners who have great expertise, and this project brings even more opportunity for these partners to build their capacity and skill sets for future projects," said Alicia Dupies, Vice President of Gilbane Building Company's Milwaukee office. "Collectively, we're committed to strengthening the construction industry — both small businesses and craftworkers — while we deliver on Northwestern Mutual's vision for a world-class campus and thriving downtown community."
Northwestern Mutual has committed to use small business enterprises (SBEs) for at least 25% of construction and supply costs and at least 18% of professional services costs on the construction of the project. The company is also committed to utilizing unemployed and underemployed residents, pursuant to the city's Residents Preference Program, for no less than 40% of total onsite construction "worker hours" expended on construction of the project.
"A project like the Northwestern Mutual's campus modernization serves as a catalyst for Milwaukee's development, and we are thankful to be a part of a project like this one that has such significant impact," said Bryce Unger, Vice President of CG Schmidt. "We look forward to sharing stories about the many suppliers, construction partners, and tradesmen and women who will be a part of this historic effort."
Potential occupancy of the North Office Building could occur as early as 2027.