A Closer Look at The BreakWater Condominiums
The BreakWater Condominiums development consists of 101 condominiums in a 20-story tower. Designed and developed by Renner Architects, the tower has rapidly risen over East Town and hopes to begin allowing residents to move-in come January. With major construction nearing completion, the Urban Milwaukee authors toured the building with future 16th floor resident Ray Allen. We had the chance to take some photos of Ray’s yet to be completed unit while talking to him about his decision to live there.
UrbanMilwaukee (UM): Why the BreakWater?
Also, since I bought in early, I was able to select all my options and upgrades, giving me the opportunity to make the unit “mine.” The options to choose from were very plentiful, but at the same time, the standard fixtures that came with the unit were all very nice and did not need to be upgraded. I did not have to spend a lot of money to make my unit how I wanted it.
Last, the people have been a lot nicer to work with then at other developments I looked at. From the developer to the sales director and everyone who I have met who works for the company, they have all been very friendly, helpful, and have responded to questions very quickly – which I have really appreciated.
UM: Were you close to choosing anywhere else?
RA: I was looking very closely at another new development in Milwaukee prior to the Breakwater as well as a unit at a project that was a couple years old. They were both very nice, but the prices seemed high and I did not feel I was getting enough condo for what I would be spending. So far, it seems to have been a good move since the used condo I looked at is still on the market 10 months later and the new development I looked at is still under 25% sold and is over six months behind schedule. I knew what I wanted to have in a condo, and the first development I was looking at met those wants, but when I found Breakwater, it had everything I wanted and more at a price that was very reasonable.
With the housing market being very bad in several markets, I had also thought about moving to a new city and starting fresh. Miami and Charlotte were both pretty high on the list, but in the end, I decided that my family, friends, and most of my network is still in the greater Milwaukee area, and though Charlotte would have been a nice change of pace (especially in February), I just could not justify the move.
UM: What excites you the most about the BreakWater?
RA: Every time I visit the Breakwater site or a past Renner Architects project, there is still a “wow” factor for me – which I did not get with other developments. Walking into the building or in the units, they are not your “normal” condos – there is just something very special about the look and feel. The units are very welcoming, which after a long day at work will be wonderful to come home to.
I have also had the opportunity to meet a lot of my neighbors in the building at parties that Renner has hosted and everyone has been very nice. I am really looking forward to having them as neighbors and it feels like there will be a very strong feeling of “community” at the Breakwater.
UM: You went to school (at MSOE) and lived downtown for four years, but have been back in Kenosha for two years. What are you most looking forward to once you move back?
RA: I am really looking forward to being back near a lot of my friends from college, being able to stay out late and not have to leave early because of the drive home and just being able to walk everywhere again. Living away from downtown certainly has its benefits, but since college, I have seen downtown as home and miss the excitement that comes with living in a big city.
UM: One piece of advice you would give to other first-time buyers?
RA: For those coming out of college, if you have the opportunity to live at home for a couple of years and save some money, I would highly recommend it. Had I looked at buying right out of college or if I had been renting for the last couple years, there would be no way I could afford a condo this nice.
Also, look around some, even if you find something you really like. The reason I was in the market was because I had found a development that caught my attention that I really liked – and even had offer papers in hand. But, after doing more research, planning of what I could afford, and looking at what other projects had to offer, I found a nicer place to live at a lower price.
UM: Why downtown instead of a suburb?
RA: While living downtown for 4 years during college on the 10th floor of my dorm, I became very spoiled by the view and by having everything within walking distance – including the lake. I wanted that view and convenience back. My company’s offices are within walking distance, I have a lot of friends very close by and I will be one block away from Lake Michigan. To top it off, the view from my unit is just gorgeous with the skyline, sunset, and Summerfest grounds – you can’t get a view like this living away from the city. There is just so much more to see and do, so many more people close by, and the atmosphere of living downtown is much more energetic and fun.