Northwestern Mutual unveils design of its new office tower

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It stands 32 stories high with over  one million square feet of space.

Within months, Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons will begin making its mark in Milwaukee.

"It's a strong statement about the vitality of Milwaukee, it's a strong statement about the vitality of the economy, and it's a strong statement about their commitment both to their employees and to the community," says Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Due to ongoing maintenance costs, the company will tear down its current east building on the corner of Cass and Mason to build the new structure.

And a project like this means jobs.

It will employ nearly 1,000 construction workers along with creating many new permanent jobs.

Proposed Northwestern Mutual office tower

Proposed Northwestern Mutual office tower

"Over the next decade after the building is constructed we're going to add another 1,900 jobs on top of the 1,100 we're keeping so that's a total of 3,000 jobs," says Northwestern Mutual Chairman, President, and CEO John Schlifske.

The addition of Northwestern Mutual Tower will also change Milwaukee's skyline.

"It's a very welcoming construction. It sort of looks like a beacon on the lakefront sort of attracting people in," says Schlifske.

The architects maximized the use of glass with the building to let in as much natural light as possible.

There are also areas on the grounds open to the public.

"That includes three acres of public green space, gardens, trees and water but it's going to be inviting and we really want the community to be able to come in and experience the garden," says Schlifske.

City officials say this shows that downtown Milwaukee is still a great place to live, work, and play.

Demolition of the current building will begin at the end of this year or the beginning of 2014.

Northwestern Mutual plans to move employees into the new building in 2017.