Irgens buys BMO Harris tower

Work for new building to begin this month

A new office tower for BMO Harris is planned at the site of the parking structure (left) at the bank’s existing downtown Milwaukee office building (center). Real estate development firm Irgens will acquire the bank’s existing office tower and refurbish it for new tenants, according to an internal BMO Harris memo acquired by BizTimes.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm

Milwaukee-based commercial real estate development firm Irgens has closed on its acquisition of the 20-story BMO Harris Bank office building and the adjacent seven-level parking structure and surface parking lot in downtown Milwaukee, where the company plans to build a new office tower.

The BMO Harris Bank office tower in downtown Milwaukee has been purchased by Irgens, which plans to redevelop it after building a new office tower next to it.

The new 25-story BMO Harris Financial Center will be located south of Wells Street between North Water Street and North Broadway. It will be built next to the existing BMO Harris office tower and will become the new Wisconsin headquarters for BMO Harris Bank and law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

Irgens is currently in discussions with an undisclosed high-end restaurant group for two restaurants within the new office tower, according to a news release.

Irgens purchased the existing BMO Harris building for an undisclosed amount. Irgens plans to redevelop the building for a yet to be determined use.

The initial construction phase of utility relocations for the new tower will begin this month, with demolition of the parking structure shortly afterwards. The 379,400-square-foot building and 647-stall parking ramp is scheduled for completion in December 2019.

“The overall project brings in excess of $175 million in new construction and redevelopment to Milwaukee while securing the continued commitment of great companies like BMO Harris Bank and Michael Best to our community,” Mark Irgens, CEO of Irgens said in a written statement. “We are pleased to further our pledge of contributing to Wisconsin’s economic development through our investors and our local design and construction teams.”

JH Findorff & Son is the contractor for the project. The architect is Kahler Slater.

Rendering of the new building planned for BMO Harris in downtown Milwaukee, to be located next to the existing BMO Harris building, which has been purchased by Irgens. Rendering by Kahler Slater.

BMO Harris will lease 124,000 square feet and occupy the new building’s first and 11th through 16th floors. Michael Best & Friedrich LLP will lease 60,000 square feet in the top three floors. The building’s remaining space is available for lease.

“The BMO Harris Financial Center signals our commitment to Milwaukee, and to the economic development of the region,” David Casper, President and CEO, BMO Harris Bank said in a statement. “We’re excited for this project to begin, and we’re pleased to work with Irgens on the development of a truly transformational new office tower.”

There will be additional retail space of 12,000 square feet located along Water Street and at the corner of Wells Street and Broadway.

In brokering the sale of the existing BMO Harris building, Dan Jessup and Steve Steinmeyer of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Michael Best & Friedrich; Scott Welsh and Lyle Landowski of Colliers and Jeff Liljeberg and Jessup of Jones Lang LaSalle represented BMO Harris Bank.

After BMO Harris moves into its new offices, Irgens will redevelop the 20-story building at 770 N. Water St. into a mixed use development. That work will not begin until 2020. Currently, use options being considered are hospitality, creative office and housing.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display