This week, Redfin, a real estate brokerage company, released a list of the nation’s hottest neighborhoods, based on page views and favorites on its web site. The overall winner was Oakland’s Bushrod, on that city’s north side, which includes a huge park.
In Milwaukee, the Lower East Side, Fernwood and Juneau Town were tabbed as the hottest – not a whole lot of surprise there. None of the three Milwaukee neighborhoods, incidentally, made it into Redfin’s national top 10.
The Lower East Side and the adjacent Juneau Town to the south are along the lakefront, have easy access to the upper East Side – including UWM – Brady Street and a booming Downtown, especially nearby, east of the river.
The mix of housing stock in those two neighborhoods would have Jane Jacobs gushing, too, with its mix of old and new, low and tall. There are beautiful 19th century Victorians, lovely restored row houses, vintage small apartment buildings, plus a row of towers along the gold coast of Prospect Avenue, multi-unit condo and apartment buildings built over the last decade, and a slew of townhouses and apartments erected on the long vacant corridor between Ogden and Lyon.
Who wouldn’t want to live there? You could sell your money-pit of a car and Bublr everywhere.
As for Fernwood, it is the southeastern portion of Bay View, again with great lake access and just about the hottest dining and nightlife neighborhood continuing to thrive nearby. It’s also got one of the city’s top public schools, which makes it extremely attractive to families.
I decided to check in with a couple local agents to get their take on Milwaukee’s hottest neighborhoods.
Coldwell Banker’s Amanda Schroder, who works all across the area – rather than focusing on a single neighborhood – unsurprisingly has a more "global," if you will, vision of what’s hot here.
"If we're looking exclusively at the City of Milwaukee, in my opinion, the top neighborhoods for real estate activity and buyer demand are Bay View, Cooper Park and Enderis Park, bordering Wauwatosa," she tells me.
"The collection of smaller neighborhoods near Jackson Park and Alverno, and the East Side – lower and upper collectively – are close behind, as are Washington Heights and Story Hill.
"This is where most of my buyers were looking last year and others continue to look this year. Demand is high in many areas because we are seeing record low inventory of homes for sale and rising buyer demand. Some national real estate organizations are optimistic that the inventory will increase this year, but that remains to be seen."
Peter Adams, who works at Shorewest and included some inner ring ‘burbs in his mix, also sees continued demand for Bay View.
"Bay View, Wauwatosa and Shorewood," he says, "in no particular order. I say this because people buy in these areas for different reasons. Shorewood and Tosa is super hot for young families who are buying into school districts. Bay View can't be beat for young homeowners who want to be near the action. Whitefish Bay is in the mix for young families buying for school districts, too."
Though I live in a great neighborhood listed among these hot zones, I’d happily take a place on the Lower East Side if anyone wants to help sponsor that move on a long-term basis.
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 an episode of TV's "Party of Five," 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.