Milwaukee gets a bad rap. Just over an hour from Chicago, Cream City often ends up as the punchline to a joke. Who can forget hapless John Candy’s polka band, the Kenosha Kickers, riding to Milwaukee in the back of a travel trailer in Home Alone? Or, more recently, the Jim Beam commercial in which Appleton native Willem Dafoe has to choose between two buses at the outset of his career, one headed for New York (and a life of fame), the other one for Milwaukee (and a life as, among other things, a bald factory owner and an elephant dung shoveler)?
But Brew City is more than just beer and brats. It’s a diverse cultural center and commercial hub, and it’s increasingly a magnet for young professionals eager to avoid Chicago’s higher rents. Major redevelopment of the city center has resulted in plenty of new housing, whether it’s refurbished older buildings or new construction. Here are five examples of how nice Milwaukee apartments can be.
If location is important to you, it doesn’t get much better than The Standard. This modern complex on the East Side gives you the best of both worlds. It’s situated at a major commercial intersection (North/Farwell/Prospect), with some of the area’s best dining (and the city’s best bookstore, Boswell Books) steps away. But it’s also in a leafy residential area, with easy access to the lake and McKinley Park. Add in huge windows, covered parking, brand new appliances, and a variety of floorplans, and this newly constructed complex is a steal.
Situated right in the heart of the hip Third Ward, Building 6 exemplifies the industrial-chic direction a lot of Milwaukee’s housing has taken in recent years. Open plans, high ceilings, and clean lines characterize the loft-style studios and one-bedrooms on offer. Balconies, and a rooftop terrace offer stunning views of downtown, while indoors, a fitness center and bike storage cater to active lifestyles.
Just steps from the Milwaukee Public Market, The Mayer Apartments complex is a gorgeously renovated historic building in the Third Ward. Its white and gold exterior is striking and recognizable. Luckily, so are the interiors. New appliances, in-unit laundry, and windows overlooking the lake — what more can you ask for? Also huge: The Summerfest grounds are within walking distance.
Don’t let the exterior fool you: Eleven25 at Pabst might look like a castle, but it actually used to be the bottling plant for Pabst Blue Ribbon. These days, it’s a totally unique vision for student housing. Forget drab carpets and dorm-like, closet-size rooms. Instead, enjoy high ceilings, exposed brick and wood beams, huge windows, and antique design touches. Luckily, the amenities are all modern: an exercise facility, a theater, and internet access are all included with your rent.
Tired of industrial-chic? How about something more cozy? This small house on the Lower East side, just steps from the Milwaukee River, has a charm all its own. With a covered porch, funky throwback wallpaper, and a quaint kitchen (complete with tile backsplash), this 585-square-foot apartment is perfect for someone who wants their own unique space.