Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

See Inside the City’s Tallest Apartment Tower

Inside the $100 million 7Seventy7 apartments, a "game changer" now opening.

By - Jul 2nd, 2018 05:57 pm
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7Seventy7 Apartments. Photos by Jeramey Jannene.

7Seventy7 Apartments. Photos by Jeramey Jannene.

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.

“This has been a huge seller,” says Misiti-Eskritt as she leads a tour of the ninth floor. Named the “Mezzo” level, the ninth floor is entirely amenities, and there are a lot of them, starting with the usual ones: grilling stations, a fitness center, yoga room, lounge and bar areas, large table for group dinners and a conference room. But it also includes a golf simulator, outdoor saltwater pool and dog run. A large outdoor deck, with a substantial amount of patio furniture, is included.

“[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 (DecemberNovemberOctoberJulyMay 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.

Photos

Dual Use

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.

Exterior

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8 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: See Inside the City’s Tallest Apartment Tower”

  1. Peter says:

    Your web site resets to the top of the page each time I click to a different picture, crumby.

  2. David says:

    What exactly is “game changing” about this tower? It’s a glassy, overpriced luxury high rise the same has been built a hundred times in the last 4 years. If this building were in Chicago nobody would ever notice it… except maybe the parking garage.

    About that parking garage actually. I knew it was going to be big but now that it’s finished my god, what a hideous monstrosity. I can’t possible imagine something less urban going up in that space. That section of Jackson has essentially been yielded to the cars. In 5 years when that concrete has been water stained and that metal has rusted people are going to be calling for the demolition of that garage.

    I guess of course it’s a symptom of the times that residents of Milwaukee can’t possibly imagine getting to work any way other than the personal automobile even though that wasn’t a problem in the 50s and early 60s when Milwaukee had 250000 more residents and far less parking. It’s a shame that developers in Milwaukee continue to fail at being forward thinking.

  3. David says:

    Typo, 150000 more residents. Milwaukee had almost 750000 residents in 1960.

  4. MidnightSon says:

    This is probably the best parking delivery system we could have hoped for. NM has been a generous and thoughtful corporate citizen for Milwaukee.

    That said, that IS one huge parking structure! I suppose underground parking is too costly for companies and developers wishing to invest in the City?

    I have little doubt that the market will bear the cost of renting one of these units, even at the high end. However, the higher the cost the bigger the drop when this current economic cycle ends. Get this stuff build, because another financial winter is coming.

  5. TransitRider says:

    Peter, your complaint is another reason for upgrading to UM’s paid version. The paid version comes with a different photo browser which doesn’t have that problem. I’m a paid subscriber and don’t have that problem with this page. I then tried accessing it as a non-subscriber and got the problem you reported.

    I subscribed months ago to support UM and also to get rid of the ads which, more than once, came with malware. I’ve had the same malware problems with JSOnline, too.

  6. Jack says:

    Uh, no. I’m not a paid subscriber and it works just fine.

  7. Tyrell Track Master says:

    Hey! WHere are the recylcling bins? I only see trash cans. Not good guys!!!

  8. Karen says:

    WOW–what a ripoff!! I had a condo just a few sq. ft. smaller with same layout and views for also $6,000 a month less.
    Suckers.

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