November 08. 2012 11:00AM - Last modified: November 08. 2012 11:17AM

Redevelopment planned for Eaton building

Thomas Ryan, president of Milwaukee-based Jonco Industries Inc. who purchased the Eaton Corp. building at 4201 N. 27th St. in Milwaukee, has lined up several tenants and is ready to move forward with a redevelopment project for the seven-story building.

Cleveland-based Eaton will move its Milwaukee operations to a new building in Menomonee Falls. Ryan bought the 27th Street building from Eaton for $1.4 million in April and since then has been leasing the building to Eaton, which plans to move out in December.
Ryan plans to spend $3-4 million to upgrade the facility and has lined up four tenants for the building.
Jonco Industries will move its industrial sewing division into the building, and will occupy 50,000 square feet of space. The company will remain headquartered at 2501 W. Hampton Ave. The Eaton building will provide additional space for Jonco, which currently has more than 480,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and distribution space.
Three additional tenants will move from other locations into the building, Ryan said. Social Development Commission (SDC) will occupy 45,000 square feet of space. Maximus will occupy 19,500 square feet of space and Northwest Side Community Development Corp. will occupy 9,000 square feet of space.
SDC is in the middle of lease negotiations with Ryan, said Jack Jacobson of NAI MLG Commercial, who is representing SDC, which provides human services programs for low income individuals.
"We don't have a signed lease yet, Jacobson said.
The SDC would move its administrative offices to the building from 4041 N. Richards St., Milwaukee. The SDC needs less space and the Eaton building is better located for the organization's needs, Jacobson said.
"They need less space. It's not efficient," he said. "Like everyone they are under pressure to be more cost effective and more efficient. This is going to save them a lot of money. (The Eaton building) is a better location with better bus access and closer to where its customers are."
Ryan is converting the Eaton building, which will be re-named Century City Tower, into a multi-tenant facility with a mix of office and industrial space. The exact split is yet to be determined, but Ryan said he hopes it will be about half office space and half industrial space with office space on the upper floors and industrial space on the lower floors.
The building has a total of 225,000 square feet of space and the four committed tenants will occupy a total of about 123,500 square feet.
The building, originally built in 1965 for Cutler-Hammer, is a key property in the 30th Street Industrial Corridor, a central city business district that city officials are trying to revitalize by attracting new businesses.
"I thought it was a nice building that shouldn't go vacant," Ryan said. "Somebody had to step up."
The building has conference rooms that will be shared by tenants and a cafeteria that will eventually be reopened when enough tenants move in, Ryan said.
Renovation work will begin in December and the new tenants will move in early next year, he said. The renovation work will include upgrades to the HVAC, electrical and lighting systems in the building, said Ryan who hopes to obtain a LEED certification for the building from the U.S. Green Building Council.