The BMO Tower, downtown Milwaukee's newest office building, is ready for developer Mark Irgens to show off its key features to tenants while crews put on some finishing touches and the developer works to lease out the remaining office and retail spaces. The 25-story, 380,800-square foot glass office building at 790 N. Water St. opened to tenants on April 17. Three of the building's four announced tenants said they have either started moving in or are already fully set up, even though very few employees are working there due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [gallery size="full" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="504588,504565,504581,504582,504585,504586,504583,504577,504584,504575,504574,504580,504578,504570,495217,495224,495219,504569,504567,504573,504566,504576,495215,495221,504587,504571,504563,504564,504572"] Michael Best & Friedrich LLP said in April it had already begun moving into the building, though its employees will continue to work remotely for the time being. "We eagerly await the day that we can open the doors and invite our friends, partners and colleagues to the new office," David Krutz, managing partner of Michael Best, said in a statement in April. Heartland Advisors, another office tenant, is also moved in. Nicole Best, senior vice president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of Heartland Advisors, said the firm was officially moved in as of April 20. But due to the ongoing outbreak, only a handful of its 27 employees are in the office on any given day, she added. "We are thrilled with the space," Best said. BMO Harris Bank, which is leasing both office and ground-floor retail space for its downtown bank branch, has also begun the moving process. "The date we had planned for the move into our new BMO Tower was pushed back due to the COVID-19 situation," BMO spokesman Patrick O’Herlihy said in an email. "The latest update is that we’re in the process of moving the belongings of our employees into the new tower, with the help of a moving service. To assist with the transition, a handful of employees in a few key functions are starting to work in the new tower; however, the vast majority are still working remotely." Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP, the building's fourth office tenant, won't be moving in until its lease begins in the fall. The BMO Tower is 55% leased. Irgens, chief executive officer and manager of BMO Tower developer Irgens Partners LLC, said there is still 135,000 square feet of contiguous office space available. There is also retail space to be filled on the ground floor. Irgens said there is still some remaining work to be done to the building. This includes the installation of a green roof on the neighboring office building at 770 N. Water St., which is a condition included in Michael Best’s lease agreement. There is also the build-out of the interior of the connector area. The work is slated to finish in October, he said. Irgens said the BMO Tower presents an opportunity for prospective users who are looking to adapt their office space to meet new safety standards in a world altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some features he highlighted were touchless elevators, a high-quality HVAC system and secured covered parking. “We’re really serious in providing a safe, comfortable environment for folks to be in, and it allows occupiers to adapt to the new normal quite easily,” he said. Get more news and insight in the April 27 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee. Subscribe to get updates in your inbox here.
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