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East side condo tower proposed
Developer has units on market
By TOM DAYKIN
Posted: May 15, 2007
Construction of a 21-story, 104-unit condominium tower on Milwaukee's east side could begin this fall if the developer can sell enough units by then.
The Break Water condominiums, a 21-story tower with 104 units on E. Knapp St., could start going up this fall.
Peter Renner says his Break Water Condominiums project will offer units priced from $225,000, for one-bedroom condos, to $1 million for penthouses.
The largest number of units will have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with around 2,000 square feet, along with a 200-square-foot deck, Renner said. Those units will be priced starting at $450,000.
Break Water is planned for 1132 E. Knapp St., on the site of the former Christopher East Health and Rehabilitation Center, which an investors group led by Renner bought in December for $1.65 million. Christopher East will be razed to make way for the new high-rise.
The demand for urban housing remains strong despite an overall slowdown in the housing construction market, Renner said.
"People want to move downtown," Renner said. "They are bored in the suburbs."
Renner said his three developments near downtown along the Milwaukee River - 64-unit The Waterfront, 130 S. Water St., and The Harbor Front and Hansen's Landing, each with 80 condos in the 500 and 600 blocks of E. Erie St .- have just one unit remaining for sale.
The key, he said, is to offer high-quality construction and design. Empty nesters who are selling their large suburban homes want spacious, solidly built condos with lots of amenities, Renner said. Break Water's units will include hardwood floors, large decks, and sound-proofed walls, he said.
The development also will have a 180-space parking structure.
Renner declined to provide the project's estimated construction costs. He said the building will generate around $60 million from condo sales, and will take 18 to 24 months to build.
The Break Water site needs to be rezoned to allow for construction of a condo tower. That zoning proposal has not yet been scheduled for a Plan Commission hearing.
Renner has already started marketing the Break Water's units. He hopes to sell 20 to 30 condos before beginning construction in order to obtain financing.
Break Water could begin construction around the same time another large east side condo development begins rising from the ground.
The 291-unit Park Lafayette, east of N. Prospect Ave. and north of E. Lafayette Ave., will feature twin 20-story towers. Park Lafayette's large underground parking structure is to be completed by September, with construction of the development's twin towers to begin at that time, according to developer Warren Barr.
Other new east side condo developments include the 110-unit Lake Bluff apartments, 1300 N. Prospect Ave. Those apartments are being converted to condos by an investors group led by Chicagoan Garrison Benson, which bought Lake Bluff in January for $27.5 million.