By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 13, 2007 at 3:29 PM

If you're not already gearing up on caffeine at Alterra waiting for Urban Outfitters to officially open at 1937 E. Kenilworth Pl., this is a heads up to let you know that the clothing and home products store is unlocking its doors at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 14.

Urban Outfitters, Inc. has made its first Milwaukee home inside the freshly renovated Kenilworth Building and has plans to open its sister store, Anthropologie -- a creative collection of women's clothing, accessories and home décor -- in the Third Ward at 301 N. Broadway on Jan. 18.

According to the company, many factors were taken into consideration before Urban Outfitters decided to open in Milwaukee.

"We loved the area and neighborhood," says Kiley Baun, marketing representative of Urban Outfitters. "Historic architecture and other key commercial outposts that our customer requires and/or frequents -- a bike shop, thrift stores, bars, bakeries, coffee shops, Whole Foods and a few art supplies stores are all within this area."

The area connecting North Avenue with Farwell and Prospect Avenues is quickly becoming its own retail district, with small, independent shops such as EssElle, Envy and Shag opening in the past couple of years. Although Urban Outfitters is a big, national company, it's is a nice fit for the neighborhood and feels similar to its boutique-surrounded Wicker Park location in Chicago. 

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”