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Michael Best to move to new BMO building

bmo1Aside from BMO Harris Bank employees, the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm will be moving into a 25-story tower the bank is having built in the heart of Milwaukee’s downtown.

Officials with BMO Harris Bank released details Thursday about their plans to put up the 335-feet tall, 360,000-square-foot tower next to its current 21-story building near the corner of Water and Wells streets.

The new building is to stand on a site now occupied by the current BMO building’s parking structure.  That would place it just across Wells Street from Milwaukee’s City Hall.

Besides BMO Harris, the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm plans to become a tenant of the new building. Danielle Bergner, a managing partner at Michael Best, said about 235 firm employees will move to the new structure once it is opened toward the end of 2019.

She said Michael Best officials decided to move out of the firm’s current building at 100 East Wisconsin after finding that they needed a more up-to-date space to offer employees various health programs and similar benefits.

The developer of the 360,000-square-foot project is Milwaukee-based Irgens Partners. Mark Irgens, Irgens chief executive, said the project has a total budget of $137 million. He said he has been working with a general contractor but is also talking to other construction companies. He declined to name the companies.

BMO’s current 21-story, 280,500-square-foot building at 770 N. Water St. dates to the late 1960s. It originally housed Marshall & Ilsley Corp., a banking corporation that was acquired by BMO Harris in 2011.

The existing BMO building lost an important tenant this spring when the Godfrey & Kahn law firm moved out to take up residence at the recently built 833 East office building in downtown Milwaukee.

About Dan Shaw, dshaw@wislawjournal.com

Dan Shaw is the managing editor at the Wisconsin Law Journal. He can be reached at dshaw@wislawjournal.com or at 414-225-1807.

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