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Developer buys former Grafton State Bank building PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 20:45

New owner of West Falls Center will work to fill vacant space in one of county’s tallest office buildings

    The former Grafton State Bank, which at seven stories is one of the tallest office buildings in Ozaukee County, has a new owner.    
    Now known as West Falls Center, the building located at 101 Falls Rd. was purchased Wednesday, Nov. 1, for $800,000 by investor and businessman Stephen Hobbs of Brookfield, formerly of New Zealand.
    “Hobbs has a real estate background and owns a couple of strip malls in Sheboygan. He will be continuing the development of the property,” Brian Nelson, the former owner of the building, said. “He also lived in the Grafton-Cedarburg area, so he knows the mindset of the market pretty well.”
    When Nelson’s company, West Falls LLC, purchased the building in 2013, only 30% of the space was occupied, he said. Currently, approximately 80% of the office space is occupied with tenants that include two attorneys, an orthodontist, a youth counseling center, a real estate assessor and Philly’s Premium Beverages.
    Nelson said the first floor is vacant and  would be an ideal location for a bank. The lobby was designed as a bank, with multiple drive-through lanes outside. The basement level used to house safety deposit boxes and vault facilities.
    Nelson said the lower level of the building is also vacant.
    “The lower level could be a perfect religious-related school situation. We have been talking to a couple of churches that could be interested,” he said.
    While Nelson owned the building, he said he replaced two heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and made improvements to the building’s elevator and public spaces.
    Grafton State Bank constructed the building in 1973. BMO Harris acquired the building in 2008 and operated a branch there until 2012, when it closed that location and put the building up for sale.
    The design for the building, which is known by locals as the glass pyramid, was selected by the late Ralph Zaun, who was president of Grafton State Bank and the grandson of its founder Louis Zaun.

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