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The condominiums with full lakefront views have been easy sells for the developers of the new Kilbourn Tower in downtown Milwaukee, but the units facing the south and the west are proving to be more challenging.
Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. has pre-sold 40 of the 74 condos in the structure at 923 E. Kilbourn Ave. Most of the units sold face the east.
The condos with southern exposures will have views at least partially obstructed by the adjacent 34-story University Club Tower, and the units facing the west will provide the best views of the city skyline.
So far, the units with full lakeviews have been most in demand, according to Dick Glaisner, managing partner for 33-story, $64 million Kilbourn Tower.
"Surprisingly, the units that have sold the slowest are the units on the west side," Glaisner said. "When you put a building on the lake (the buyers) think lake. Believe it or not, the question we get is, ‘Can you see the fireworks on the 4th of July?’"
When the first Kilbourn Tower residents move in to their new condos in early May, they will enter a building that is raising the bar for luxurious lifestyles in downtown Milwaukee.
One of the units costs about $530,000, but the rest are priced between $700,000 and $2.65 million.
The condos on floors 4 through 22 have between 2,157 and 2,600 square feet of space and cost between $700,000 and $987,000. The units on the next

five floors have between 3,500 and 3,600 square feet of space and cost between $1.25 million and $1.5 million.
The units on the top six floors have between 6,200 and 7,800 square feet and cost at least $2.35 million.
The penthouse, a 7,800-square-foot, 1 1/2-story unit has been sold. Glaisner declined to identify the buyer.
Most of the people who will be moving into Kilbourn Tower are empty-nesters, dual-income professional couples or retirees, many of whom will be moving from the suburbs.
"Generally, successful people that can afford to live here," Glaisner said. "Most are professionals. We have quite a few doctors. We have quite a few business owners. We have quite a few people who are retired or are nearly retired.
"The biggest (sales obstacle) we find is people making a decision on the lifestyle, which is a decision they have to make," he said. "They have to get there by themselves."
Sales of the building’s condominiums have gone in waves, and Glaisner said he is expecting another wave of sales now that a model condominium has been open for a few weeks.
"What happens with these types of buildings is you get the buyers that want to buy a place here. They come early," Glaisner said. "Then as you build the building, it generates more interest as people see it’s really going to happen."
The last wave of buyers generally will not commit until they see what a finished unit looks like and can better grasp what it would be like to live there, Glaisner said.
"Some people cannot visualize as well as other people," he said. "They need to see the finished product."
The finished product at Kilbourn Tower is impressive. The lake can be seen from patios on each unit.
Glaisner expects the sale of those units to pick up as the University Club Tower, to be completed in 2006, takes shape and buyers will know for certain what the views from the southern units will be.
The units on the west side of the building have the least lakefront view, but the best downtown skyline view.
"It’s really an exciting view of the city," Glaisner said.
The higher units offer different perspectives on the city than the lower units. The higher units provide birds-eye views, while the lower units bring the city and Juneau Park on the east closer to the condos.
"On the lower floors, the outside becomes the inside," Glaisner said. "With the upper floors, you are looking down on it."
Inside, each condo features maple hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, some floor-to-ceiling windows, Kohler fixtures, granite kitchen counter tops and master bathroom whirlpools.
Each unit also has at least one patio, wiring for sound systems and sound insulation so residents don’t hear their neighbors.
Kilbourn Tower will have many other amenities, including a concierge service. The concierge will sit in the two-story lobby, designed to resemble that of a five-star hotel, at a desk of Italian marble and onyx.
The second floor will feature a gathering room, which will include a grand piano, a catering kitchen, a bar and a fitness center. The second floor also will feature a 1,600-bottle wine cellar and a walk-in humidor for cigar storage.
The tower will have a guest suite on the third floor.
Security will be provided at the building 24 hours a day, and trained maintenance people will be on hand for repairs.
Kilbourn Tower residents will park in an underground parking facility beneath the building and Kilbourn Avenue.
Once the buildings are complete, the residents of Kilbourn Tower and University Club Tower will make their block the highest concentration of wealth in Wisconsin.
"This is a big deal," Glaisner said. "This is a big deal for the city. (The two-tower block) is $150 million of real estate that used to be an asphalt lot and a corner that didn’t exist."

Kilbourn Tower
Address: 923 E. Kilbourn Ave.
Development costs: $64 million
Residents move in: Early May
Developer: Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc.
Height: 33 stories, 380 feet
Number of units: 74
Number of units sold: 40
Price range:
$700,000 to $2.65 million
More information:
(414) 221-9108
Web page: www.kilbourntower.com

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March 18, 2005, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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