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Northwestern Mutual Releases New Details about Milwaukee High Rise

Northwestern Mutual announced it has selected C.D. Smith Construction Inc. to serve as the general contractor that will build the 34-story mixed-use real estate development at 777 North Van Buren Street adjacent to Northwestern Mutual’s downtown Milwaukee campus.

The selection of C.D. Smith is the next step in developing the $100 million real estate investment that will include high-end residential and retail space as well as parking.

“We believe this project, like our Tower and Commons, will continue to fuel Milwaukee’s renaissance by drawing more jobs, businesses and residents to downtown,” said Tom Zale, vice president and head of Northwestern Mutual Real Estate, the company’s real estate arm and one of the largest such investors in the nation. 

Zale added that Northwestern Mutual’s real estate investments are an essential ingredient in maintaining the company’s financial strength and delivering significant benefits to clients across the United States.

The development will be built on property Northwestern Mutual owns on the block bounded by North Van Buren, North Jackson, East Mason and East Wells streets. A 25-story apartment tower with 308 high-end apartments and 14 penthouse units will sit above an eight-story parking garage. There will be approximately 1,400 parking stalls for Northwestern Mutual employees and building residents, with some stalls available to the public. Retail space will be available on the ground floor.

“C.D. Smith has the expertise and experience to bring our vision to life, and we look forward to partnering with them on this exciting project,” said Zale.

The family-owned and operated C.D. Smith brings more than 80 years of experience in construction management and general contracting to the Northwestern Mutual project. The company, headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wis. with an office in Milwaukee, has previously completed multiple projects within the city of Milwaukee including projects for Marquette University and the renovation of the Global Water Center. The company is currently providing construction management for the new Kimpton Hotel in the Third Ward, DoMUS Apartments, a new corporate office for Zurn Industries LLC, and more.

C.D. Smith joins the design and construction team including development manager Hines, design architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz, and structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

Local vendors and suppliers, including those performing work on the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, are encouraged to join the project, which is expected to provide hundreds of additional jobs for local businesses during construction and after the project is completed.

The demolition process is underway, and groundbreaking is anticipated in late spring. The company expects the project to be completed and occupied by spring 2018 and will be seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council based on a sustainable design.

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