By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 03, 2018 at 9:02 AM

Before Northwestern Mutual even completed its striking new office tower on Mason Street, it announced that it would build a new 34-story, $100 million apartment development across the street, at 777 N. Van Buren St.

Since then the 7Seventy7 apartment tower has altered the Milwaukee skyline.

The building, designed by architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz, has 310 one-, two- and three-bedroom and convertible studio apartments – including 14 penthouses – retail space on the ground floor and about 1,400 parking spots for residents, the public and NM employees.

With 91 apartments locked up, the building is 30 percent leased and residents began moving in about two weeks ago. It is currently 11 percent occupied but floors 21-35 are not yet completed. They are expected to be move-in ready within a couple weeks.

During construction some two-bedroom apartments were combined with adjacent studios to create more three-bedroom units, which were in higher demand than expected.

Each floor has 14 apartments (there is no 13th floor), except the 33rd and 34th floors, which each have seven penthouse units.

7Seventy7 also has what it calls "game-changing amenities" on its ninth floor, including an outdoor saltwater "cocktail" pool and terrace with gas grills, golf simulator, fitness center and yoga room, dog run, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, sports bar with TVs and a pool and shuffleboard tables, WiFi cubes, lounge and bar areas, and, as you can imagine, amazing 360-degree views of Downtown and the lake.

At the top, the 35th floor, called Alto, has an event and party space that is available for use by tenants.

The lobby has a bike shop, pet spa, complimentary coffee bar, specially designed Fyxation bikes and high-tech automated package room.

Apartment floor plans can be found here.

Rents range from $5,030 to $7,485 a month for penthouses; $5,850 to $6,045 for three-bedroom apartments; $2,630 to $3,185 for two-bedroom units; $1,560-$1,885 for one-bedroom apartments; and $1,415 to $1,490 for convertible studios.

Inside the apartments, one gets the feeling of being in a five-star hotel, with high-end finishes and stunning views – like living on a permanent vacation (except that you likely have to get up and go to work most days).

Outside, the building's reflective exterior ties it in to its recently completed Northwestern Mutual neighbor and its distinctive, multi-faceted shape (which surely helps ensure everyone's got a great lake view) make the building really stand out in the evolving Downtown skyline.

Here's what we saw on our tour of the building today:

In the lobby

Apartments

Ninth floor amenities

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.