See Inside the City’s Tallest Apartment Tower
Inside the $100 million 7Seventy7 apartments, a "game changer" now opening.
The newest addition to Milwaukee’s skyline is nearly complete.
Residents have begun moving into Northwestern Mutual‘s 35-story 7Seventy7 apartment tower. The 310-unit building, which attempts to push the definition of luxury apartment living in Milwaukee to another level, comes packed with amenities and incredible views.
“We’re excited to bring this to Milwaukee,” said Christina Misiti-Eskritt, managing director of Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company. And based on leasing information provided by property management company The Bozutto Group, Milwaukeeans are excited it’s here as well. The building is already 30 percent leased according to property manager Lauren Schramka.
Named for its location at 777 N. Van Buren St., the tower contains a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and penthouse units. Rent for a 548-square-foot, studio unit, dubbed a “convertible,” starts at $1,415 per month, while rent in the largest penthouse, a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom, 1,818-square-foot unit, is $7,485 per month.
The units themselves contain everything one would expect in a luxury high rise: quality finishes, Whirlpool appliances, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and balconies with skyline and lake views. But it’s the ninth floor that differentiates the building.
“[The ninth floor] is really meant to be an extension of their apartments,” says Misiti-Eskritt. Schramka told Urban Milwaukee that while the apartments do a good job of selling themselves, “the ‘wow factor’ is definitely the ninth floor,”
The Alto floor, as the 35th floor will be known, could possibly surpass the Mezzo floor in the “wow” department. When construction wraps up at the end of the month, the top floor will contain two balconies, a fire pit and fireplaces, lounge and private bar. Both musically-named floors will be available to all residents.
Construction on the $100 million building is being led by CD Smith, with design led by Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz. You can watch the building rise by viewing our coverage chronicling the construction from 2017 (December, November, October, July, May and March) and 2016 (November and March).
No tenants have been confirmed for the extensive amount of commercial space on the building’s first floor.
Additional information regarding floor plans, leasing prices and a complete amenity list is available at Live7Seventy7.com.
The 35-story building has a unique layout. Beyond a first-floor lobby and handful of other back-of-the-house functions, the actual apartment complex doesn’t start until the ninth floor. The floors in between are a key factor in why the building was built in the first place: they provide parking for Northwestern Mutual employees. The company’s downtown campus, with a couple thousand employees, is just across N. Van Buren St.
When the company opened the 32-story Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons last August there was one key feature missing — parking. After an aborted attempt to buy the O’Donnell Park parking garage from Milwaukee Company, the insurance company pivoted and built their own building on land they already owned. They merged the necessary evil of a parking garage with an income-producing apartment tower developed by the company’s investment arm.
The apartment tower isn’t the company’s first such income-producing asset. The company has 50 apartment complexes spread across the country with approximately 20,000 total units. Including the Milwaukee project, a staggering 20 additional apartment buildings are under construction or have recently opened. The insurance giant also invests in virtually every other property class, including industrial and commercial buildings.
The insurance company previously owned the Shops of Grand Avenue mall and the 100 East office tower, before selling both in the last 15 years. Northwestern Mutual still maintains an equity investment in the Mandel Group‘s East Pointe Commons apartment complex along E. Ogden St.
The building’s proximity to major downtown employers is certainly one of its draws, including Northwestern Mutual’s corporate campus, but Northwestern Mutual’s spokesperson Betsy Hoylman declined to provide any details regarding leasing by the company’s employees, citing privacy concerns. She did tell Urban Milwaukee that many employees expressed strong interest in the project when it was announced.
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