Leonardo DRS building in Milwaukee sold for $3.5 million

Tom Ryan, right, with his son Mike at Jonco Industries headquarters at 2800 W. Custer Ave.

The Milwaukee building that Virginia-based defense contractor Leonardo DRS is leaving for a new suburban office and manufacturing facility has been sold to an entity registered to Tom Ryan of Jonco Industries.

Century City Industrial DRS LLC paid $3.5 million for the 22.5-acre property at 4265 N. 30th St. The property has an assessed value of nearly $5.2 million.

DRS announced plans late last year to relocate its operations from the northwest side of Milwaukee, where it had a presence since the 1950s, to Menomonee Falls with the help of up to $18.5 million in state tax credits plus additional local incentives. The state support drew criticism from community leaders in Milwaukee, but state and regional officials said it was necessary to prevent the company from moving out of Wisconsin.

Ryan did not immediately return a call and email seeking details on his plans for the site.

The purchase is not the first time Ryan, owner of contract manufacturer Jonco Industries, has bought a building after a company left Milwaukee for the suburbs. He bought the former Eaton office building, located just east of DRS along North 27th Street in 2012, telling BizTimes in a 2016 interview that it took him five minutes to make the decision “because it should be done.”

The property has since been renamed the Century City Tower and is home to a number of organizations, including the Northwest Side Community Development Corp. and the Midwest Energy Research Consortium.

Another Ryan related entity, Century City Industrial LLC, paid $6.1 million in March to buy a warehouse located just south of the DRS and Century City Tower from an affiliate of Phoenix Investors. Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. has used the facility but the company is consolidating operations at a new building in Germantown.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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