You Can Live Inside This Milwaukee Shopping Mall — Yes, Really

published Apr 23, 2023
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Thanks to an ever-shifting retail landscape, mall culture certainly isn’t what it was in decades past, so you might be wondering what happens to those structures when they no longer house your favorite stores. In the case of one beloved Wisconsin mall, the answer involves letting you live out your wildest childhood dreams: sleeping inside a shopping mall.

Located in downtown Milwaukee, The Avenue was once home to the city’s historic Grand Avenue Mall, even serving as the only indoor shopping mall around after the closure of two nearby malls in the early 2000s. But after undergoing foreclosure in 2012, the mall was sold in 2015, with its new owners working on transforming it into a mixed-use space, including a gaming lounge and arcade, pickleball and shuffleboard courts, a food hall, fitness centers, co-working areas, and, yes, luxury apartments you can actually live in.

Perhaps the coolest part of the living spaces available within the massive three-floor, 367,968-square-foot campus is that many of the apartments include features that have been preserved and restored from the mall, including storefront window display foyers, so you can pretend you’re having sleepovers at the mall every single night, using your oven and baking skills to whip up some cookies for that signature “freshly baked cookie” scent at the mall you still miss so dearly.

There are two different types of apartments currently available at The Avenue, with a range of layout and room options and rents between $1,315 to $1,855 per month. And for those who are just visiting — or, in true mall fashion, who simply want to try before they buy — there are Airbnbs available for short-term stays. So if you find yourself in the Milwaukee area and want to take advantage of every fun amenity The Avenue has to offer (including incredible food, a dog wellness area, and, of course, some solid shopping too), be sure to plan your trip pronto.