An aerial perspective recently taken of the
Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons building site in
Photo courtesy of Brian Mitchell
of Choice Construction
MILWAUKEE - For 25 days, 20 trucks
belonging to Tremmel-Anderson Trucking carried away dirt
from the site of the future Northwestern Mutual Tower
and Commons in downtown Milwaukee. Each truck averaged
seven to 10 loads per day filled with 14 cubic yards of
material per load.
Sussex-based Tremmel-Anderson Trucking owner
Theresa Tremmel-Anderson said it felt good to have her company’s
previous work recognized and to be selected as one of about five
dozen Wisconsin-based companies to work on the 32-story
structure at Cass and Mason streets.
“For the high-profile projects you want to bring
in the A-team,” she said.
Other large Milwaukee area projects Tremmel-Anderson
Trucking has worked on include the Bradley Center and the
“It’s always fun to drive around and say I built
that and I did this,” Tremmel-Anderson said.
Work is moving along quickly at the Northwestern
Mutual Tower and Commons with crews currently working on
installing the steel framing.
Anticipated to be completed by the end of
2017, crews are currently constructing the frame for the
tower and commons, said Senior Public Relations
Consultant John Gardner. The steel frame is being
installed and the structure “is going up at a very fast
rate,” he said. The entire project is anticipated to
cost about $450 million.
Brian Mitchell, owner of Choice Construction
Companies Inc. in Menomonee Falls, has about 40 employees on
site putting in the steel. The Northwestern Mutual project isn’t
the only significant Milwaukee project Choice Construction is
currently working on - it has contracts as well for the Hoan
Bridge and Zoo Interchange. It’s also working on installing
structural steel for a bridge in Oconomowoc.
Choice Construction crews have been on site of
the Northwestern Mutual project since February and Mitchell
anticipates they will be there until spring 2016. He said
Choice installed all of the rebar for the enormous 20-hour
Northwestern Mutual foundation concrete pour in April, which was
the largest continuous concrete pour in the history of
Wisconsin. Choice Construction placed 1,300 tons of rebar by
working 12 hours a day for 28 straight days. Harris Rebar in the
City of Pewaukee fabricated the rebar.
“Of course this is a structure that is going to
change the whole skyline and we are really happy to be part of
it,” Mitchell said.
Having recently moved to the Milwaukee area from
Madison, Mitchell said working on these significant projects
help to give him a sense of community.
The future Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons is
shown from Cass and Mason streets in downtown Milwaukee. The
project is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2017.
As part of the project, Northwestern
Mutual has pledged to use Milwaukee residents through
the Resident Preference Program for 40 percent of the
hours worked on the project. The company has also vowed
to pay 25 percent of project costs for work done by
small business enterprises. By the end of the third
quarter of 2014, small business enterprises in Milwaukee
were awarded $92.7 million in contracts and commitments,
or 27.9 percent of the total value of applicable
construction and professional services contracts to
By June 30, Northwestern Mutual had exceeded both
the 25 percent SBE and 40 percent RPP thresholds. Northwestern
Mutual has also reached out to more than 100 community-based
organizations to guarantee that a diverse group of people would
be involved in the project.
The Grand Hall inside the Northwestern Mutual Tower
and Commons is depicted. The entire project is expected to
cost about $450 million.
As a woman who owns a business, Tremmel-Anderson
said she appreciated Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to
hire more minority-owned companies. Choice Construction
is another one of the minority-owned businesses
Northwestern Mutual selected.
The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons will be
a significant part of downtown Milwaukee when completed. The
tower will have 32 stories and be 550 feet tall, making it the
second tallest building in the state and largest building
occupied by one company in the city.
The Northwestern Mutual Tower is expected to take its
place in the Milwaukee skyline by 2017.
The Commons will be three stories tall,
have public dining, a visitors center and community
access. For updates on the project, go to
1,000 construction-related created jobs through
1,900 new jobs brought to the city
1,100 jobs retained downtown
5 dozen Wisconsin-based contractors hired for the project
32-story structure with 1.1 million square feet
25 percent of project costs to be paid for work done by small
40 percent of the hours worked on the project done by Milwaukee
Source: Northwestern Mutual