Manpower raises its flags

Manpower Inc. unveiled its new global corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee during a media event Tuesday. The $78 million, 280,000-square-foot, four-story building is located along the Milwaukee River, southeast of North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Cherry Street.

"(Manpower is) part of the renaissance of the city," Mayor Tom Barrett said during the ceremony. "There are a lot of exciting things happening in the city, and (Manpower) is front and center of them."

During the event Tuesday, employees raised 30 flags, each representing one of the top countries that Manpower does business in.

The building was developed by RiverBend Place LLC, a firm led by Milwaukee developers Gary Grunau and Scott Sampson.

"This is a milestone for Milwaukee," Grunau said. "Look around the country. How often do you see a Fortune 200 company move into the city center?"

About 900 Manpower and Jefferson Wells employees will move from Glendale and Brookfield to the new headquarters building on Sept. 17. Manpower president and chief executive officer Jeffrey Joerres said the company has an annual growth rate of 10 to 12 percent, and the firm has projected that it could add another 300 employees at the new headquarters over the next five years.

If the company outgrows the building, it could expand into the parking lot just to the west of the facility, along King Drive, Grunau said. However, that will probably not happen for several years, he said.

RiverBend Place also plans to redevelop the historic North Powerhouse building, located just south of the Manpower building. Grunau said that project will begin later this fall and be complete next summer, creating 55,000 square feet of office space.

The media tour of the new Manpower building revealed several of its features. The building’s front door and a plaza faces the river with a view of the Park East corridor and the downtown skyline. Wi-fi service will be available in the plaza. The plaza will also have a water wall with the Manpower logo. The third floor of the building has an outdoor patio, which features a view of the downtown.

The City of Milwaukee is providing $25 million in tax incremental financing (TIF) to pay for a parking structure for the Manpower building.

"If you bring me 1,000 jobs, we’ll start talking about a serious TIF," Barrett said.

The city will also provide police officers to help with traffic issues during the first few days after the Manpower employees move in.

"When people say Milwaukee is difficult to do business with, we did not see that," Joerres said.

City officials are hoping the Manpower headquarters attracts more development and brings more people downtown to live, work and play.

"For the last several months I’ve talked to several Manpower employees that are going to be moving downtown," Barrett said. "You’re going to see more development that will come as a result of this decision."

To see photos of the Manpower building and the media event, visit the latest edition of SBT Around Town.

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