Acuity completes corporate HQ expansion

$170 million project began in 2013 [PHOTO GALLERY]

Acuity's headquarters in Sheboygan.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:55 pm

Sheboygan-based property and casualty insurer Acuity announced Tuesday that it has completed the expansion of its corporate headquarters.

The $170 million project, which began in late 2013, created two additional wings of office space and doubled the amount of total building space, which now stands at over 1.2 million square feet.

By comparison, the new 32-story Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons building in downtown Milwaukee has 1.1 million square feet of total space.

Acuity says its headquarters can currently accommodate 1,600 employees, and the infrastructure now in place could ultimately support 4,000. The project was driven by growth in the company’s customer base, which led to the hiring of hundreds of new employees over the past several years, the company said. Acuity now operates in 26 states, generates nearly $1.4 billion in annual revenue through 1,000 independent agencies, and manages over $4 billion in assets. The company employs over 1,200 people.

“Expanding our headquarters reflected not just a current need, but our faith in Acuity,” said Ben Salzmann, Acuity president and CEO. “We are constantly planning for the future, and our expansion is part of our preparation for handling growth in business we will achieve in the years ahead.”

In addition to the southeast wing completed in July 2016 and the northwest wing finished in February 2017, Acuity added new galleria space, two 640-car parking structures, expanded training facilities, and upgraded infrastructure, utilities, and security. The company said it also improved energy efficiency through HVAC upgrades and through an “outside-in” approach to design that spreads natural light throughout the interior. The company also more than doubled the size of its on-site fitness facility.

“Our people are the heart of Acuity and the reason for our success,” said Sheri Murphy, Acuity’s vice president of services and administration. “An overarching goal of this project was to create a business environment that was both state-of-the-art and employee-focused.”

The project also expanded on unique design features at the Acuity headquarters. The complex now has a 2,000-person theater-in-the-round for company-wide meetings. A 65-foot Ferris wheel was permanently installed for special events and fundraising. A climbing wall was also added.

The project also included more artwork. The company commissioned additional installations of the Seven Sisters glass sculptures, which can be seen by motorists on Interstate 43.

“We are one of the first businesses in Sheboygan that travelers see,” Murphy said. “We want visitors to get a positive and lasting impression not just of Acuity, but of the community as well.”

Additionally, the company installed a group of gargoyle statues, which the company said was done to emphasize its mission of protecting its customers.

Acuity’s headquarters campus is also has a 400-foot flagpole that flies an American flag measuring 140 feet wide by 70 feet high. Acuity erected the flagpole in 2014.

Remaining on-site work will include finishing the landscaping of the headquarters grounds.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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