Local Experts Share Their Tips on Buying and Decorating Condos

Milwaukee condos are attracting buyers of all stripes, from retirees to professionals to folks just craving the energy of city life.

Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Milwaukee condos are attracting buyers of all stripes, from retirees looking to downsize, to professionals hoping to cut their commute, to folks just craving the energy of city life. We spoke with a local Realtor and an interior designer to learn the latest.

Chris Corley


Chris Corley runs Corley Real Estate, one of few firms in Milwaukee to specialize in condos. The boutique firm sells properties across the city, from Downtown and the Third Ward to Brewers Hill and Bay View.  

What’s the Downtown condo market like right now? 

The market is very good. Demand is exceptionally high and inventory levels are low. Unfortunately, we haven’t had new condos built since around 2009. I’d like to see more new construction in the city. Marine Terminal, Cityside Plaza and Lofts on Broadway are all very desirable buildings. The most desirable, I’d say, is Harbor Front Condominiums in the Third Ward. It’s a beautiful harborfront location with amazing facilities. The Third Ward is an extremely popular neighborhood right now.  

Why do you think that is? 

The Third Ward offers a lot of historic buildings with character – tall ceilings, exposed timber, Cream City brick. I live there myself, and it’s such a unique community. We’re bordered by the river and Lake Michigan. The area is very walkable. We have everything you need in our own little neighborhood – grocery stores, restaurants, bars, theaters, galleries. It’s a great place to live.

Suzan J Designs; Photo by Ryan Hainey

Suzan Wemlinger 


For 18 years, Suzan Wemlinger has made homes beautiful. Leading her firm, Suzan J Designs, she crafts interiors for condos, houses and some small commercial spaces.   

A lot of Milwaukee’s stock is a bit older. How do you keep those spaces from looking dated? 

I use a combination of design techniques to make older homes fresh while honoring any architectural details that may be worth highlighting. Blending different design styles and eras in the furnishings and rugs helps make the home feel collected. Creating character in a home can be accomplished by adding things such as Cream City brick in place of run-of-the-mill tile around a fireplace. Paint can do wonders as well. An almost-black satin paint used for the millwork in a home, with crisp white walls, adds a level of classic modernism to a home when done right.

What about your clients who are downsizing? How do you make the new, smaller space still feel like home? 

We carefully edit their belongings by going through and determining what items have meaning to them. Oftentimes their existing furnishings no longer fit their new home – both scale-wise and style-wise, and I do find that most clients who are downsizing are ready for a new aesthetic. I have in-depth conversations with them, and this helps me design a new look while still making sure their home is ‘them’ – and not me. 



This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s May issue.

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