was then the Grafton State Bank building, the glass
pyramid structure on Falls Road in Grafton, is pictured
News Graphic file photo
GRAFTON — What is believed to be one of the tallest
buildings in Ozaukee County is now under new ownership.
Paperwork for the purchase of the West Falls Center, 101
Falls Road, was filed with the Ozaukee County Register
of Deeds office last Wednesday. Known to many as
Grafton’s glass pyramid building, it was long home to
the Grafton State Bank.
property was purchased for $800,000, according to the
According to the building’s leasing agent, Ryan Persitza
of Commercial Realty Advisors, the operations of the
building are expected to continue as they are for now.
Many of the building’s current tenants are on multiyear
leases, and the building’s office and commercial zoning
is in line with the professional services businesses
currently residing there.
“The management for the building is the same, though the
ownership has changed,” Persitza said.
“The building will continue to be used like it is,” he
purchase was made by local investor and businessman
Steve Hobbs of Brookfield, according to Persitza. He
said Hobbs spent several years living in Grafton, not
far from the building he has now purchased, after
emigrating from New Zealand.
building was erected by Grafton State Bank, with
construction beginning in 1973 and the building having
its grand opening in January 1975, according to News
design for the peculiar building, the only one of its
kind in Grafton, was selected by Ralph Zaun from among
several submitted in a design competition. Zaun, now
deceased, was president of Grafton State Bank and the
grandson of its founder, Louis Zaun.
seven stories, West Falls Center is among the tallest
buildings in Ozaukee County, though it is actually
several stories shorter than original designs, according
to previous New Graphic articles covering the building’s
Original architectural plans were modified to
accommodate building codes, Fire Department concerns and
the flight plans for West Bend’s airport, according to
comments Zaun made in 2008. Original designs had the
building standing 10 stories tall.
office building houses a variety of businesses, from an
orthodontist to law offices. Persitza said more than 80
percent of the building’s space is currently leased, and
much of what stands empty is the lobby and basement
floors originally inhabited by the Grafton bank and
later BMO Harris Bank, after that company bought out
Grafton State Bank in 2008.
lobby floor was designed as a bank, with multiple
drive-through lanes on the grounds. The basement level
is where the safety deposit boxes and vault facilities
for the bank are located.
After BMO Harris left, there was a deed restriction on
the space preventing another financial institution using
it, according to Persitza. The restriction was
temporary, however – some properties have permanent
limitations – and no longer stands in effect.
“That has expired,” he said.
said also that there have been talks with a bank and a
credit union about leasing the space, though nothing is
final at this time.