American Family Insurance and MB Acquisition, LLC are partnering to transform a 110-year-old Milwaukee landmark building in the 6th District into a state-of-the-art headquarters office, Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs said today.
According to American Family’s announcement (made earlier today), the building on N. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. — known as the Mandel building — will be home to a new multi-purpose American Family office, with space for 400 employees in a variety of roles, including claims, high-tech and community partnerships.
Alderwoman Coggs said American Family selected the building because of the downtown development renaissance and its firm belief that the city will be a future technology hub where the company can help build and draw from a pipeline of potential employees.
“I first want to thank American Family for selecting this landmark location for their new state-of-the-art Milwaukee office, and I also want to welcome the company to the 6th District,” Alderwoman Coggs said, noting that she also looks forward to the company having the ability to build stronger ties to the city’s business and technology networks, universities, and community organizations.
“Today is a very good day for Milwaukee and for the 6th District,” she said.
In a news release, American Family noted that after completing an extensive search of possible sites in downtown Milwaukee, the Mandel location rose to the top as the best location to attract talent and collaborate with the community.
“We’re excited about Milwaukee’s revitalization and want to be part of it,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family Insurance chair and CEO. “With our new downtown location and increased involvement in the community, we plan to join others in the economic rebirth of Milwaukee and help the city become more equitable, healthy and sustainable.”
The building will be owned by a newly-created joint venture entity comprised of MB Acquisition, LLC, current owner of the building, and American Family. MB Acquisition, LLC is operated by Joel Lee, president of Van Buren Management, Inc., and his son, Daniel Lee, the company’s vice president.
American Family will pay to renovate and expand the building with additional floors. Once the work is completed, American Family will lease the building, with an option to purchase it or extend the lease after 10 years.
The building, used for many years as a print shop for Mandel Graphic Solutions, has been home to a variety of businesses. It was built in 1909 for the Phoenix Hosiery company, which manufactured silk stockings and hosiery.
Estimated time to renovate the building is two to three years, and when it is completed, approximately 200-250 employees, mostly in claims, will relocate to the building from American Family’s current office in Pewaukee. Approximately 150 additional employees will work in the building from other functions, and those functions will include technology and data science, community investments and partnerships, and an American Family sales and agent recruitment center. It will also contain a public space called DreamBank, which will host community events and have staff and resources to help people pursue their personal aspirations.