Northwestern Mutual taps Gilbane, CG Schmidt for $500M office rehab

Award: North Office Building modernization
Value: $500 million
Location: Milwaukee
Client: Northwestern Mutual

Insurance giant Northwestern Mutual has tapped Gilbane Building Co. and CG Schmidt for a $500 million modernization of the North Office Building at its Milwaukee headquarters, according to a news release.

Providence, Rhode Island-based Gilbane and Milwaukee-based CG Schmidt will perform extensive interior and exterior renovations to the 540,000-square-foot building, per Gilbane and CG Schmidt’s project information page

The building opened in 1990, nearly three decades before the company’s more recently completed Tower and Commons, according to a Northwestern Mutual press release

The renovation project on the North Office Building is aimed at mirroring the architecture of the 32-story, 1.1 million square foot structure, which was completed in 2017. Both contractors worked on that job as well. 

The North Office Building project will enhance employee amenities, event spaces and public engagement while increasing the usable square footage of the campus through more efficient use of space. It will also connect to a pedestrian plaza.  

The multimillion-dollar renovation, as well as a $600 million tower being built by Northwestern’s competitor Mutual of Omaha in Nebraska, buck the trend in the office sector. Office construction has been muted since the COVID-19 pandemic as employees across various industries continue to work from home.

Gilbane and CG Schmidt are seeking bids on a range of subcontractor work, including demolition, structural steel, concrete and deep foundations, with bid packages detailed on the renovation project’s information page.

“We look forward to continuing this partnership and continuing to build capacity in workforce and business in our metro community,” said Alicia Dupies, vice president of Gilbane Building Co.’s Milwaukee office.

Construction could begin by the fall, Gilbane said, and Northwestern plans to occupy the renovated building in 2027.

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