November 9, 2020 – Today, Husch Blackwell announced the completion of construction on its new, state-of-the-art office space in J. Jeffers & Co.’s newly opened Huron Building, located at 511 N. Broadway in downtown Milwaukee. Employees will transition to the new office space later this month.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for our firm,” said Paul Eberle, Husch Blackwell’s Milwaukee-based Chief Executive Officer. “This new office space, and its prime location, will help us meet the evolving needs of our current employees and clients and position us for continued growth well into the future.”
CG Schmidt served as Husch Blackwell’s construction manager, Nelson Worldwide served as the firm’s designer and Colliers provided project management services.
State-of-the-Art Office Amenities and Features Focus on Employee Wellness and Flexibility
The firm’s 153 Milwaukee employees, including 85 lawyers and paralegals and 68 administrative staff will occupy the Huron Building’s top three floors, a total of 76,811 square feet. Employees will enjoy an abundance of amenities and unique features designed to meet the needs of employees and encourage their success and well-being, both personally and professionally.
Visitors to Husch Blackwell’s new office space will be greeted in the firm’s 11th-floor lobby, which features stunning views of Lake Michigan and a rooftop terrace. A large, topographical map of Lake Michigan is intricately carved into the reception space, visually connecting the exterior view with the interior design.
Throughout the firm’s three floors, glass office walls and wall-to-wall windows throughout each floor’s exterior ensure that nearly all desks come with a view and provide employees with the added benefit of natural light.
“Every inch of this office space was designed with our employees in mind,” said Husch Blackwell’s Milwaukee Office Managing Partner Jack Enea. “One of our primary objectives was to ensure as many employees as possible would be exposed to as much natural light as possible throughout their work day in order to promote employee health and wellness.”
The firm’s 10th-floor space features the firm’s take on a modern library. While the need for physical books has lessened over the years, attorneys indicated they still desired a quiet space to focus. The library will provide a noise-free, no-cell-phones-allowed space for research and reflection.
In contrast to the quiet library, the 10th-floor also features a large cafe space to serve as break space, a place for small group meetings, and a great place to enjoy lunch with a view.
“We recently surveyed employees and discovered that in our current work-from-home environment, this space, built for interaction, is what people crave and miss most,” said Enea. “When it’s safe, we’ll be ready to welcome employees back with multiple spaces for interaction and engagement.”
The firm’s ninth-floor space features a large multipurpose room with adjacent food preparation and event logistics space.
Additionally, each floor is equipped with a wellness suite. While the suites were designed with nursing mothers in mind, each private wellness suite is accessible to all employees for various wellness uses, including meditation, relaxation or uninterrupted thought.
Each of Husch Blackwell’s office locations has a phased approach to returning to the office, including capacity limits steered by local COVID-19 case counts and guidance from local, state and federal authorities and dependent on an individual’s comfort level with working in-person, with all necessary precautions.
While some changes have been made to adapt Husch Blackwell’s new workspace to take into account COVID-19 precautions, such as converting faucets, soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers to touchless options, the office needs of a law firm already echoed many best practices.
“As a law firm, we rely on a lot of private offices, which is helpful as we look to return to the office,” said Enea. “For those who will be positioned at workstations, desks were already designed to be more than six feet apart.”
Long before COVID-19, trends in office space build-outs included flexible space that could be configured to meet various needs.
“Multi-purpose space has become even more important in recent days as we look for flexible ways to safely hold small in-person meetings in open, socially distanced space,“ added Enea.
Plans put in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic also called for the firm’s investment in enhanced video conference rooms throughout its office space.
Husch Blackwell Remains Committed to Milwaukee
Husch Blackwell is proud to anchor the Huron Building, which will serve as a neighborhood hub for continued development.
“We have a deep history in Wisconsin and in Milwaukee,” said Eberle. “Investing in this development, and in our employees, is just the latest expression of our continued commitment to and pride in the City of Milwaukee.”