Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

BMO Tower Starts to Climb

Parking garage at base of new 25-story tower is now visible.

By - Sep 14th, 2018 05:15 pm
BMO Tower rising in front of Milwaukee City Hall. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

BMO Tower rising in front of Milwaukee City Hall. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

In March we warned you that a rare view of Milwaukee City Hall wouldn’t last for long, and sure enough, six months later it’s quickly disappearing.

Irgens Partners, through contractor J.H. Findorff & Son, is moving full speed ahead on the redevelopment of the former M&I Bank building parking garage site into what will become a glass-clad, 25-story office tower.

The $132 million, 359,920-square-foot tower will replace the 417-stall parking garage at 790 N. Water St. BMO Harris Bank, which acquired M&I Bank in 2011, will occupy 123,000 square-feet in the tower, spread over floors 11 through 15, with a flagship, two-story bank branch on the corner of N. Water and E. Wells streets. Law firm Michael Best & Friedrich will lease 59,000 square-feet of space spread across two-and-a-half floors at the top of the tower.

An eight-level parking garage at the base of the tower, the first floors of which are now clearly visible, will include 647 parking spaces.

Findorff led a 25-hour concrete pour in June to build the foundation for the structure. Crews poured 13,980 tons (6,700 yards) of concrete into a hole the size of a half block, and actually finished well ahead of schedule despite the 670 trips required. The foundation has an estimated cost of $2 million.

BMO has approximately 700 employees in their current tower, and another 200 in the nearby Milwaukee Center. Both groups will relocate to the new building.

The new tower will feature a number of amenities, including a shared multi-media conference center, common tenant lounge and terrace on the 12th floor. BMO will have a private outdoor terrace on the 11th floor and Michael Best will have one on the 25th floor. A tenant fitness center will be constructed underground with lots of light, private showers and locker rooms.

As part of the big redevelopment scheme, Irgens will also redevelop the existing tower. That part of the project won’t start until 2020 at the earliest. Developer Mark Irgens has suggested a mix of uses could be included in the overhauled tower, including “workforce housing,” a hotel or office space.

The tower is scheduled to open in December 2019. Design work is being led by Kahler Slater.




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