Grafton office tower sold

West Falls Center LLC, led by investor Brian Nelson, recently purchased the seven-story, 42,000-square-foot office building at 101 Falls Road in Grafton from Chicago area investor Mike Thiakos.

The property was sold for $188,000, according to state records. The low sale price means “we can lease it (to office tenants) at a very reasonable rate compared to other buildings in the area,” Nelson said.

BMO Harris sold the building to Thiakos for $500,000 in November, according to state records.

The building is a little more than half vacant and needs a significant amount of upgrades, he said.

“It needs a lot of upgrading and a lot of work,” Nelson said.

A seven-story office building is an unusually tall structure for Ozaukee County.

“It’s the tallest building in Ozaukee County,” said Ryan Persitza, principal of Commercial Realty Advisors, who brokered the deal.

“It’s kind of a landmark building in Grafton,” Nelson said. “We hope to get it fully occupied. My plans are hopefully to get a bank to occupy the first and second floor. It had been a bank building for many years.”

The building, known as the West Falls Center, was built in 1973. Its lower floors were occupied by Grafton State Bank, which was acquired by Harris Bank in 2008. The building’s lower floors later became a BMO Harris branch until the branch was closed last year.

Two financial institutions are considering a proposal to lease the first two floors of the building, Nelson said. The building has 7 drive-through bank teller lanes and the former bank space has a large lobby and a safe with safety deposit boxes.

“It’s all equipped for a bank,” Nelson said. “We’ve got two (financial institutions) that have shown serious interest.”

Nelson is a Milwaukee real estate investor and business owner. He is the owner of Milwaukee-based ICM Corp., which is a manufacturer and supplier of mail sorting equipment, supplies and products for the U.S. Postal Service.

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