Jeramey Jannene
House Confidential

Barry Mandel’s Penthouse

From his downtown penthouse, the Milwaukee real estate developer may have the best view in town.

By - Jul 29th, 2012 09:23 pm
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You’d be hard pressed to find a Milwaukee developer who lives the lifestyle he sells as much as Barry Mandel. When he completed his tallest building to-date, the 36-story University Club Tower, Mandel did the next most logical thing, move in. Ditching their Fox Point home, Mandel and his wife bought a two-story, 6,433 square-foot penthouse condominium with a view of both the lake and Downtown. It’s the height of urban living.

Mandel has a reputation as a developer who sweats the details and plays to win. Facing a $25,000 disagreement over the construction costs for the U-Club tower (pared down from a much bigger sum), Mandel agreed to a 100-meter swimming race against Rich Lynch, president of project general contractor J.H. Findorff & Son, to resolve the dispute, with the winner getting the $25,000. Little did Mandel know, Lynch was a former college swimmer at UW-Madison. Following months of training with Olympian Adam Mania, Mandel arrived for the race day in terrific shape, and beating the odds, won by the narrowest of margins.

The Rundown

  • Style: Multi-family – Post-modern architecture
  • Location: Juneau Town neighborhood (East Town) – east edge of downtown Milwaukee
  • Walk Score: 88 out of 100
  • Public Transit Score: 66 out of 100
  • Street Smart Walk Score: 87 out of 100
  • Size: 6,433 sq ft
  • Year Built: 2007
  • Assessed Value: $3,800,000 (2011)
  • Currently listed: No
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 3 garage parking spots
  • 3 full baths, 3 half-baths

Fun Fact: Mandel’s two floors are shared only with a condo belonging to Marcus Corp. CEO Stephen Marcus.

About Barry Mandel

Milwaukee-native Barry Mandel is the president of Mandel Group, Inc., which has developed over $500 million in residential and retail developments in the metro-area since 1991. With a law degree and an insider’s knowledge of city government, Mandel’s real estate expertise is matched only by his political savvy. He’s managed to execute a number of tough deals, including the ongoing development of The North End, a multi-phase “neighborhood by design.” The latest phase required an unusual financing package with WHEDA financing and a loan from the city that was approved by the Common Council after the Department of City Development balked at providing it. He’s also secured financing from the Village of Shorewood for a development under construction, as well as satisfying the demands of both UW-Milwaukee and often difficult-to-please East Siders when his firm developed Cambridge Commons for the UWM Real Estate Foundation.

While he was at Trammel Crow, Mandel led the development of East Pointe Commons on long-empty land that had been cleared for the extension of the former Park East Freeway. He’s redeveloped one tannery site already, into Trostel Square, an apartment and condominium development, with another in progress at The North End (Pfister & Vogel tannery). His firm won a competitive bidding process to convert a former gas station into one of Wisconsin’s greenest student housing complexes, the 700-bed Cambridge Commons. Even his own residence wasn’t without a challenge: University Club Tower was built within a couple of feet of the equally tall Kilbourn Tower.

How Milwaukee Is It?

The condominium is 0.6 miles from Milwaukee City Hall.

More About Barry Mandel

Photo Gallery

3 thoughts on “House Confidential: Barry Mandel’s Penthouse”

  1. Edith Wagner says:

    Photo gallery, foto schmallery: where’s the view? A picture of Mandel’s front door and a tower all of us can see any time? You tricked me into thinking I’d see the view. Bet my $10 that Barry Mandel is willing to show it off and you don’t even have swim for it. BTW, I once lived on the southeast corner, 24th floor of Juneau Village with an ahhhmazing view so I’m eager to see what Mandel sees.

  2. Jeramey Jannene says:

    @Edith – You’re in luck. Mandel opened up his condo when the Congress for New Urbanism was in town last summer ( The photo of Mandel and Norquist is from his balcony.

    For the view – see this photo

    And the Eyes on Milwaukee cover shot –

    There is also this shot ->

  3. Edith Wagner says:

    Thanks! The views are breathtaking but can’t find a lake view and, frankly, my li’l one bedroom, probably under 1000 square feet in Juneau Village (years ago) had views as good. Imagine that!?

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