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North Cass and East Mason streets where the former 500,000-square-foot East Building once stood. Northwestern Mutual was founded in Janesville in 1857 and moved to Milwaukee in 1859. The company built its iconic East Wisconsin Avenue office building more than 100 years ago. “We had an opportunity to take a step back and think about what we wanted to do: fix our aging building or, perhaps, consider something different,” Christophersen said. The executive team wanted to build a headquarters tower that would make a statement. They also wanted it to be structured and designed for a workforce of the future. Attracting and retaining millennials and being able to offer employees state-of-the art technology were top of mind when designing the building. “It’s not just about building office space to conduct business in, but strategic thinking about how we do business and how do we build out a space in a way that we maybe haven’t thought about in the past,” Christophersen said. The decision to build a new tower in downtown Milwaukee came after years of strategic planning, Christophersen said. The construction of the new building preserved 1,100 Northwestern Mutual jobs in downtown Milwaukee and also created space for approximately 1,900 new ones, according to the company. Since construction began three years ago the project has also created more than 2,600 construction-related jobs. Because the city committed $54 million in tax incremental financing for the project, a quarter of the contracts have had to be awarded to local companies eligible under the city’s Small Business Enterprise Program and at least 40 percent of the labor hours have to be worked by city residents who are eligible under the Residents Preference Program. Northwestern Mutual has consistently met or exceeded those goals. Before entering the building from Wisconsin Avenue, employees and the public are greeted by the Northwestern Mutual Gardens, a 4.6acre landscaped space filled with gardens and trees, tables, benches and walkways. One of the first things people will notice when they enter the building itself is the tremendous amount of light that shines through, Christophersen said. The Commons, which is a three-story, two34 / BizTimes Milwaukee AUGUST 21, 2017

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These photos show areas of the atrium that connects Northwestern Mutual’s historic Wisconsin Avenue building to the new building and The Commons portion of the new structure.

Profile for BizTimes Media

BizTimes Milwaukee | August 21, 2017  

The hype and hope of Wisconn Valley | Smarter buildings on the rise | Adding privacy to the open concept office | Northwestern Mutual Tower...

BizTimes Milwaukee | August 21, 2017  

The hype and hope of Wisconn Valley | Smarter buildings on the rise | Adding privacy to the open concept office | Northwestern Mutual Tower...