main entry lighting
Brookfield Square is turning 40 and
some big changes are under way. It’s no simple face-lift, but rather
an extensive renovation and rejuvenation that has been in the works
for several years. The makeover includes the addition of several new
restaurants and stores, both inside and outside the mall. The changes
are coming at a time when Bay Shore and Mayfair shopping malls have
made significant changes and upgrades. And, it comes as the owner of
the Pabst Farms development at Highway 67 and I-94 is planning a
1-million-square-foot upscale shopping center.
It is time for the changes, says Scott
Oleson, general manager of Brookfield Square. "The last total
interior renovation was in 1996, so we are very excited about
it," he says.
What’s New Inside?
"The mall owners, CBL &
Associates Properties Inc., and its mall partners have been pursuing
this vision with a long-term strategy to make the area the premier
shopping location in the region," according to Daniel Ertl,
director of Community Development for the city of Brookfield. The
Bravo Italian Restaurant was the first new restaurant to be added,
south of The Limited. In addition, the first H&M clothing store in
the area recently opened inside the mall.
Work began in May on other interior
changes, including a 1,900-square-foot, 1950s-style hamburger
"joint" called Johnny Rockets, a national chain. The
restaurant will sit between the existing food court and Sears; it will
reuse 600 square feet of existing space and 1,300 square feet of new
space inside the mall.
Another national restaurant new to the
area will be added to the east side of the mall near space formerly
used as loading docks. Claim Jumper, a restaurant chain with an 1849
Gold Rush atmosphere, serving steaks, ribs and other American fare, is
planning to open an 11,700-square-foot restaurant sometime in 2008,
according to Oleson. "The entire east side of the mall will look
different," Oleson says.
What’s underfoot and above your head
will also change. Interior mall flooring, fixtures and lighting will
be upgraded. The food court will be outfitted with new tables and
chairs as well as new restrooms. None of this will cut into your
shopping time, Oleson says. "We’re putting in new lighting and
a new porcelain tile floor, but most of the work is being done at
night so shoppers will not be affected."
As for what’s going on outside, you’ll
soon see some dramatic changes. Earlier this year, Fleming’s Prime
Steakhouse and Wine Bar, a fine dining restaurant, opened on the north
end of the mall property along Bluemound Road. Another restaurant,
Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy, will open later this year. Yet
another restaurant, Mitchell’s Fish Market, will open this summer,
situated near the mall’s east entrance. Mitchell’s is a national
chain with a menu that will appeal to seafood lovers.
food court entry
food court entry lighting
And, for something completely
different, Fresh Market, an upscale specialty grocery store, is slated
to open shortly. The high-end food market will be located in the
parking lot north of Boston Store along Bluemound Road, on the west
side of the mall, and will offer an alternative to markets like V.
Richards and Sendik’s.
Plans call for new streetscaping and
landscaping on the east side of the mall as well, along with a
two-story signature entrance with a tower between Barnes & Noble
and The Limited. "The new entrance will represent a big change
for us. We will have a canopied drop-off area for shoppers,"
Oleson says. Eventually, mall owners would like to build a parking
structure and provide shuttle buses to carry shoppers to and from the
mall. There will also be a new monument sign on Moorland Road.
Watch for changes on the south side of
the mall, too. "The most significant change would be what happens
to the Sears parcel, which has the greatest open space for
redevelopment," Ertl says.
Pros and Cons
Why so many new restaurants? "When
I have talked to constituents in recent years, I kept hearing, ‘We
need restaurants.’ Now we have more restaurants so people have more
options," Brookfield Mayor Jeff Speaker says.
By adding these new restaurants and a
grocery store, mall owners are aiming to keep Brookfield Square
shoppers on their property for a longer period of time. "We are
making everything closer for people who are shopping with us. We’re
hoping to become a one-trip shopping experience," Oleson says.
Oleson stands outside the Barnes & Noble on the east side
of Brookfield Square.
However, not everyone is enamored with
the idea of more stores and more shoppers. Kate Kotecki, a Brookfield
resident who lives with her husband just north and west of the mall,
is concerned about the lack of green space and possible additional
congestion. "I think the upgrades sound lovely, but it seems like
they’re jamming too much onto the Brookfield Square property. The
latest additions actually make me want to visit the mall less often
because of traffic and parking congestion, a closed-in feeling and
loss of open or green space," she says.
In answer to some of those concerns,
Ertl notes that a traffic impact study was prepared in 2006 by Traffic
Analysis and Design of Cedarburg. "As a result of recommendations
made by that study, a new traffic signal was added near the McDonald’s
restaurant on North Moorland Road and $100,000 was set aside for
traffic improvements on Bluemound Road," he says. CBL has also
dedicated a three-acre site located to the west of the mall for a
public square and green space.
The mayor notes that he is hearing
positive things about the changes. "Brookfield is moving ahead
and looking great. Brookfield Square is going to have a big impact in
the next few years," Speaker says.
In addition to the changes at
Brookfield Square, the overall strategy is to promote the introduction
of apartments and condominiums in areas near the mall, in order to
build a "24-hour city," according to Ertl. "The city of
Brookfield looks forward to working with CBL to realize a shared
vision of the rejuvenated Brookfield Square mall. Our strategy is to