Northwestern Mutual tower project hit small business, resident targets

20 SBE firms topped $1 million in contracts

Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:57 am

The construction of the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons exceeded goals set for spending with small businesses and hours worked by certain Milwaukee residents, according to the final project report submitted to the city.

Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons

The project ended with companies certified in Milwaukee’s Small Business Enterprise program receiving $127.1 million, or 31.4 percent, of the $404.7 million in applicable contracts. Milwaukee residents eligible under the city’s Residents Preference Program worked 43.5 percent of the 1.83 million construction hours.

Northwestern Mutual reached an agreement with the City of Milwaukee during the approval process that called for 25 percent of construction costs and 40 percent of construction hours to go to businesses and individuals in the SBE and RPP programs respectively.

The company has provided periodic updates to the Common Council on the progress it made meeting the goals and has generally been at or above target levels throughout construction.

Of the 66 SBE firms working as subcontractors on the project, 20 topped $1 million in contracts. That included five firms that topped $9 million, led by Dairyland Electric Co. ($11.02 million), Choice Construction Co. ($10.6 million), Hurt Electric Inc. ($9.87 million), Duwe Metal Products Inc. ($9.46 million) and JCP Construction ($9.01 million).

The top five trades in the RPP program included general labor (240 workers), carpenter and soft floor layer (94), ironworker (80), electrician (68) and truck driver (50).

Triada Employment Services led all contractors with 102,828 hours worked by RPP workers doing assembly work. Staff Electric Co. had 100,071 RPP hours on electrical contracts, Grunau Co. had 63,298 RPP hours on plumbing, C.G. Schmidt had 49,933.5 on site concrete and Duwe Metal Products had 28,000 on site installation labor.

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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.