Four construction teams asked to bid for NML project

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has asked four construction teams to submit proposals to be the general contractor for the $450 million Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project at its downtown Milwaukee corporate headquarters campus.

The four construction teams invited to bid for the general contractor’s job are: Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group LLC with Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction Co.; Providence, R.I.-based Gilbane Building Co. with Milwaukee-based C.G. Schmidt Inc.; Millers Point, Australia-based Lend Lease Construction; and Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction.

“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,” said Sandy Botcher, Northwestern Mutual vice president and project leader.

Construction of the 1.1-million square foot project, which will include a 32-story office tower and a three-story common space, is expected to begin later this year and will be complete in 2017. The existing 16-story building on the site is being torn down.

Through the general contractor, other vendors will have opportunities to contribute throughout all phases of the project. Northwestern Mutual is 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 for the project. Those participation levels are required by the City of Milwaukee, because it is providing $54 million in tax incremental financing for the project.

Northwestern Mutual said it has already hired more than 50 local businesses to help with a variety of roles related to the project.

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