Husch Blackwell to anchor Jeffers project downtown

Firm signs letter of intent to lease three floors

A rendering of the new development.

Last updated on June 27th, 2019 at 01:02 pm

Husch Blackwell will move its Milwaukee office to a new mixed-use development by J. Jeffers & Co. at the corner of North Broadway and East Clybourn Street.

The law firm has signed a letter of intent to occupy the top three floors of the nine-story building, located at 511 N. Broadway, for 15-and-a-half years. Click here to see a video rendering of the building.

“We have put a lot of thought and deliberation into how to organize and design the new office,” said Jack Enea, managing partner of Husch Blackwell’s Milwaukee office. “The most compelling argument for building an office from scratch was the ability to design it exactly to our own specifications. This allows for a better use of space, greater efficiency and cost management, and more amenities for our attorneys and staff.”

The new location will give Husch Blackwell 71,000 square feet of space, about 75 percent of what the firm currently has at its offices at 555 E. Wells St. The firm and its predecessor have been at the East Wells Street location since 2003. Despite the reduction in size, the law firm says the new space will have room to accommodate significant increases in headcount.

A rendering of the building planned for 511 N. Broadway.

The Milwaukee office currently has around 100 lawyers and paralegals and another 80 administrative staff members.

Milwaukee developer Josh Jeffers originally proposed a seven-story mixed-use building for the 511 N. Broadway location, currently a parking lot, in 2017. At the time, plans called for the Broadway Connection project to include retail on the first floor and 108 apartments.

Jeffers shifted gears on the project and received conceptual approval from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission for the new nine-story plans, which include one-and-a-half stories of retail space and four stories of parking hidden within the building, totaling 190 spaces.

The site, located northwest of Broadway and East Clybourn Street, is on a block of historic buildings and along the Milwaukee streetcar line.

Husch Blackwell’s space in the building specifically will emphasize abundant access to natural light throughout the office, a firm café, uniform office dimensions for all attorneys, a wellness room, enhanced video conference rooms and new ergonomic office furniture.

Paul Eberle, the Milwaukee-based chief executive of Husch Blackwell, called the decision “a natural extension” of the firm’s presence in the community.

“Our intention to anchor this new development is a powerful signal of Husch Blackwell’s commitment to the city of Milwaukee,” Eberle said. “Since our combination with Whyte Hirschboeck, our firm has continually made investments in our Wisconsin-based platform.”

Milwaukee-based law firm Whyte Hischboeck Dudek merged with Kansas City-based Husch Blackwell in 2016.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.