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Northwestern Mutual sets opening date for new downtown tower

Building will open ahead of schedule
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Posted at 12:34 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 13:34:32-04
Northwestern Mutual’s new downtown Milwaukee headquarters will open in August, ahead of the company’s longstanding public statements of a “fall 2017” opening, The Milwaukee Business Journal is reporting.
 
On Aug. 21, the first groups of Northwestern Mutual employees will move into the $450 million structure with the official name “Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons,” spokeswoman Betsy Hoylman told TODAY'S TMJ4 partner the Milwaukee Business Journal on Monday.
 
Construction crews are completing the final stages of the project’s interior, including painting and laying carpeting and tile one floor at a time on the 32-story building, she said.
“We have used ‘fall of 2017’ as a range, rather than a specific date,” Hoylman said. “We are pleased that the pace of work allows us to open the building at the early end of that range.”
 
The company informed employees the week of May 15 about the move-in date, Hoylman said. Departments will move into the building in stages over a few months, but Northwestern Mutual hasn’t yet announced a moving schedule, she said.
 
Construction on the 1.1-million-square-foot tower started in fall 2014. At the time, the company said the project would preserve 1,100 downtown jobs while adding 1,900 new ones.
However, in fall 2016, the financial and life insurance company announced it was restructuring its workforce and would eliminate “hundreds of jobs” in late 2016 and this year. The company has declined to disclose the precise number and types of jobs that have been eliminated since that announcement.
 
During the project, some employees relocated temporarily to two floors in the 411 East Wisconsin Avenue office building. Others moved to an office building the company bought at 733 N. Van Buren St. as well as other Northwestern Mutual buildings downtown and the company’s suburban Franklin campus.
 
Outside the new tower, work is well underway on Northwestern Mutual Gardens, a 4.6-acre landscaped public space in front of the new tower along East Wisconsin Avenue.

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