By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 05, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Adventure Rock has begun offering hard hat tours of the new climbing gym it will open in June as part of Mandel Group's 46-unit Belay Apartments development at 2240 N. Commerce St., at North Avenue, in Riverwest.

This morning, we got a look inside the building, which was designed by Johnsen-Schmaling Architects.

The gym

The 18-square foot gym occupies the entire western portion of the building, with soaring ceilings and multiple climbing walls, including one up on a mezzanine running along the western wall. A workout gym is set toward the back. The Adventure Rock will likely have a soft opening for members on June 13 with an official opening five days later.

The apartments

Most of the 46 units are one-bedrooms, with a few two-bedroom units also available. While units on the top (fourth) floor are drywalled already, on the first floor they're only framed out at the moment. Fifty-six parking spaces are being constructed below ground.

Lots of light

The corner apartments are especially well-lit by mother nature, as you can see above and below.


There are great views in every direction – of the East Side, of the Milwaukee River, of the UWM skyline to the north – but the view of Downtown is especially nice. The apartments also include in-unit laundry facilities, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, individual furnaces and communal balconies.

North Avenue facade

The vertical spaces between these metal fins will be illuminated with variegated lights, creating a striking effect at night.

Commerce Street side

The main entrances to the Adventure Rock climbing gym and to the apartments will be on the Commerce Street side. Just south of the building is green space and a dog run.

You can sign up for a free hard hat tour or one of Adventure Rock's dinner tours (with food from Bel-Air Cantina) here.

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 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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.