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American Family Insurance drops plans for downtown Milwaukee office

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American Family Insurance Company withdraws development plans New offices in downtown Milwaukee housed up to 400 employees.

The company announced Wednesday that it would change plans after evaluating its real estate portfolio in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of remote work.

“When the pandemic opened up options for how and where employees worked, American Family, like many other businesses, had to assess their real estate footprint and future space needs.” said Cali Gracie, vice president of American Family. of business and workplace services.

“The real estate portfolio was then planned after careful consideration of many factors, including business and space needs, lease terms and current building use,” Grasee said in a statement.

This prompted the company to put up a vacant building, 1311-1325 N. King Drive, for sale.

American Family said it will continue to evaluate space needs in Milwaukee, including potential leasing of office space.

The Madison-based company said it remains committed to Milwaukee, including spending more than $10 million on education programs, supporting small businesses and developing healthy youth.

The company also has naming rights sponsorships such as American Family Field and the American Family Insurance Amphitheater at Meyer Festival Park.

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The decision to discontinue a downtown office development that would have converted a historic building came 15 months later. American Family has sold the former Pewokee office building.

The 75,000 square foot office building at W236 N1402 Busse Road, just north of I-94 and east of Hwy J/Pewukee Road, was sold to Generac Power Systems in August 2021 for business expansion. American Family sold a building after employees began working remotely during the pandemic.

American Family is one of a series of companies that are rethinking their office space needs by increasing their workforce working from home.

Among them is Harley-Davidson Inc., whose chief executive Jochen Zeitz said in October it plans to find other uses for its 500,000-square-foot headquarters on the west side near Milwaukee. We said we are fully embracing the removal work.

Other companies have adopted a hybrid model in which employees divide their time between the office and remote locations.

Among them is Fiserv Inc., which announced plans to move its headquarters to HUB640 in downtown Milwaukee in October.

The plan to spend $7 million to help finance the $37 million development is due to be reviewed by the Common Council’s Zoning, Neighborhood and Development Committee at its meeting Tuesday.

The company expects to employ 580 people in its first year at the new headquarters, increasing to 780 by the fourth year. This includes 250 new jobs in the Milwaukee area.

Fiserv must maintain its headquarters at HUB640 for at least 16 years. In favor of a hybrid work model, the contract also states that full-time employees must be at headquarters at least 60% of the time on average.

You can email Tom Dakin at: [email protected] and continued Instagram, twitter When Facebook.

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