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Northwestern Mutual narrows contractor candidates for expansion

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) Northwestern Mutual has announced it has asked four teams to make proposals to serve as general contractor for construction of the new Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons. Local and small business enterprises are encouraged to contact these firms to explore sub-contracting opportunities for a project that will reshape Milwaukee’s skyline.

“Our selection of these contractors shows continued progress on a signature development for this financially strong and growing company,” said Sandy Botcher, Northwestern Mutual vice president and project leader. “We’ve carefully vetted a broad range of firms to narrow the field to these four teams, and we look forward to selecting a general contractor that has the expertise and experience to build a landmark project for Milwaukee.”

One of the following four teams will be chosen by mid-April:

  • Clark Construction Group, LLC with Hunzinger Construction Co.
  • Gilbane Building Co. with C.G. Schmidt Inc.
  • Lend Lease Construction
  • Mortenson Construction

Construction of the 1.1 million square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons is scheduled to start later this year. Completion of the 32-story office tower and three-story common space is scheduled in 2017. The company expects to invest approximately $450 million for design and construction of the complex, which will provide hundreds of jobs for locally owned businesses.

Through the general contractor, vendors will have opportunities to contribute throughout all phases of the project. The project is particularly seeking small, emerging, and women- and minority-owned business enterprises for at least 25 percent of the total construction cost and Milwaukee residents for 40 percent of the hours on the construction site.

“We’re committed to fulfilling our promise to hire local and small business enterprises engaged in the construction trades,” Botcher said. “We want our fellow businesses – especially local contractors – to be a partner in the process of making our vision a reality.”

Initial work will include selective demolition, concrete, steel, excavation, civil work, and earth retention, along with other earthwork, site utilities, foundations and superstructureSupport needs will include equipment rental, construction cranes, fencing, clean-up, flagmen, street cleaning, trucking, scaffolding, overhead protection, site dewatering, roadwork and trash removal. 

Northwestern Mutual has already hired more than 50 local businesses to help with a variety of roles related to the new Tower and Commons including design of the new construction, demolition of an existing 16-story structure on the site, and relocation of campus utilities.

Firms interested in becoming involved in the project can contact the candidates:

Mark Eames

Clark Construction Group, LLC with Hunzinger Construction Co.

216 S. Jefferson St., Suite 502

Chicago, IL 60661

(312) 474-5521


Adam Jelen

Gilbane Building Co. with C.G. Schmidt Inc.

101 W. Pleasant St., Suite 104

Milwaukee, WI 53212

(414) 287-2600


Jeff Riemer

Lend Lease Construction

1 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 850

Chicago, IL 60606

(312) 245-1000


Mark Sherry

Mortenson Construction

17975 West Sarah Lane

Brookfield, WI 53045

(262) 879-2500