Michael Horne
House Confidential

Ryan Braun’s High-Rise Home Base

His 21st floor downtown condo is pricey, but dirt cheap compared to his second home in Malibu.

By - May 24th, 2013 03:26 pm
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Kilbourn Tower

Kilbourn Tower

Although Milwaukee Brewers superstar Ryan Braun has a $4.9 million home in Malibu, California, he is registered to vote in Wisconsin, which makes his 21st floor condo in the Kilbourn Tower his legal address. This is a relatively recent development, as Braun registered to vote on April 15th, 2013, probably the same day he paid hefty income taxes on his $6 million salary. The tax haven of Wisconsin welcomes slugger Braun to Milwaukee’s 4th Aldermanic District, Ward 186. The next election is April, 2014; your polling place is the Municipal Building, 841 N. Broadway.

Citizen Braun’s  Milwaukee home, like his huge California residence (bought in a foreclosure sale), has views of water, particularly through the east-facing windows of the 2,285 square foot, two bedroom, two bath, 21st floor condo. The unit, built in 2005, had water views to the south as well, until the neighboring University Club Tower was completed in 2008, not much more than 25 feet away. Today, the Braun residence balcony (accessed only through the master bedroom) looks out upon the University Club Tower’s chalk white and windowless northern wall.

He bought the unit in April for $635,000 (purchased by the Ryan Joseph Braun Separate Property Trust of Granada Gills, California). The seller was Kilbourn Tower 2100 LLC, which was organized in November, 2012 by Richard Ruvin, who paid $660,000 for the Braun condo in February, 2013. The unit previously sold for $730,000 in March 2011.  KT 2100 also owns an adjoining condo unit, should Braun choose to expand.

In 2009 Fiduciary Real Estate Development, the final developer, hired Richard Ruvin to remodel and upgrade common areas of the building to the tune of $1 million.

It appears Braun is the first owner to actually occupy the place, which comes with two subterranean parking spaces, and is outfitted with a dishwasher, disposal, washer, dryer, microwave, oven, range and refrigerator. The master bedroom is outfitted with a closet that yearns to be stuffed with Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Emeraldo Zegna couture, yet is destined to be the depository for jockstraps, baseball jerseys and signature T-Shirts from the Ryan Braun collection at Affliction Clothing.

Condo fees are steep — over $1,000 a month — but include central air conditioning, common area insurance and maintenance, heat, hot water, cold water, sewer and trash. A lonely concierge is stationed at a desk in the lobby to meet the whims of the building’s residents, many of whom have second and third homes elsewhere, giving the place a forlorn look, with its windows mostly dark on a winter’s eve, at a time when the crystal chandeliers should be sparkling like champagne.

Fellow residents, when they are in town, include Bill Nasgovitz, Tom Quadracci, Michael H. White, Richard Glaisner, Edward Filmanowicz, Joel Lee and, adding to the sports theme, former Milwaukee Buck Michael Redd and longtime NBA executive (and former Buck) Wayne Embry. Boris Gokhman, the building’s initial developer, maintains a tenuous hold on his 28th floor aerie after encountering a little unpleasantness with the bank that held his mortgage. His son Tim Gokhman also owns a unit in the building.

Joel Lee, who is a developer himself, raised a stink when the University Club Tower was proposed, spoiling his view, and objected to the city demanding nearly a million dollars for a little scrap of land that was needed to assemble the Kilbourn Tower parcel.

According to city tax records, the Braun unit is valued at $28,000 for the land, and $687,300 for the improvements, giving a total of $715,400. Taxes of $21,349 are paid in full. The unit had been valued for as much as $900,000 in 2008, so it looks like Braun got a bargain.

Fun Fact: Braun could buy 10 condos a year on his baseball salary, and still have money to spend on life’s simple pleasures, like blue jeans, $4 Cul de Sac wine, and supermodel fiance Larisa Fraser, thanks to his other business activities.

In addition to Affliction Clothing, Braun has lent his name (rented his name) to Cyto Sport, “the makers of Muscle Milk,” a non-steroidal nutritional supplement; Nike; Wilson; Mikita Sports; Sam Bat; AirTran Airways; Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kwik Trip.

Alas, the slugger is no longer associated with Ryan Braun’s Tavern and Grill in Lake Geneva, which is practically Illinois anyway. He still derives income from Ryan Braun’s Graffito in the Third Ward, and, in partnership with Aaron Rodgers, from 8-Twelve MVP Bar and Grill. That restaurant is located in Brookfield, with a second location planned for Bayshore Town Center in Glendale.

The Rundown

  • Style: High Rise
  • Neighborhood: Juneau Town
  • Walkscore: 89 out of 100 “Very Walkable — most errands can be accomplished on foot.” Bacchus restaurant is just 433 feet away.
  • Commute: To which job? Miller Park is about 6 miles away; Ryan Braun’s Graffito is 1.3 miles away; 8-twelve in Brookfield is 13 miles away, while the new Bayshore joint is a mere 8 miles away.
  • Transit Score: 65 out of 100, “Good Transit.” The #10 bus will whisk him door-to-door to the new Bayshore restaurant.
  • Street Smart Walkscore: 94 out of 100, “Walker’s Paradise.” Metro Market, home of the $4 Cul de Sac wine bargain, is less than a half-mile away.
  • Size: 2,285 cozy square feet
  • Year Built: 2005
  • Assessed Value: $715,400
  • Property Taxes: $21,349.08, paid in full by previous owner.

How Milwaukee Is It? City Hall is less than a mile away straight west on Kilbourn Ave.

About Ryan Braun

It’s rare for a professional athlete to have certainty about the team he will be playing for in the future, but Braun’s an exception to the rule. His emergence as a perennial All-Star led the Brewers to agree to an eight-year contract with the slugger in 2008 and a six-year extension in 2011. He’s under contract with the Brewers through 2021 and will draw a check from the team for even longer with the deferred compensation in his extension. The size of his deal makes it unlikely for him to be traded (not to mention he has the ability to deny a trade with the deal’s no-trade clause), and his contract is fully guaranteed through 2020. He’ll be 37 when the deal expires, and while he would still be one of the youngest tenants in Kilbourn Tower, that’s pretty old by MLB standards.

Braun has yet to disappoint on his monster deals (the biggest in Brewers history each time he signed).  He made his major league debut in 2007 winning Rookie of the Year, helped the team to their first playoff appearance in years in 2008, secured a spot on every All-Star team since 2008, won a Silver Slugger every year over the same stretch, and won the National League MVP in 2011 (he finished second last year). Braun has been nothing short of outstanding.

However, controversy over steroids has dogged Braun in recent years. He reportedly tested positive for enhanced levels of testosterone in 2011, avoiding a 50-game suspension by winning an arbitration case because the sample’s container was not handled by the proper procedure. That wasn’t to be the end of the case though. Braun’s name appeared on a list of debtors to a Coral Gables clinic engulfed in another performance-enhancing drugs investigation. Braun’s legal team stated that the reason no PED’s appear next to his name is because they were only consulting with the clinic regarding the arbitration hearing. Believe what you may, but Braun’s performance hasn’t dipped since the positive test.

Braun has been rumored to live all over the area prior to buying this unit. I’ve been told he’s resided in Landmark on the Lake (ironically owned in part by Richard Ruvin), 601 Lofts, other units in Kilbourn Tower, and Rocky Point Rd on Pewaukee Lake. I haven’t been able to confirm any of this, but it seems to get repeated to me as often as he hits home runs.

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