of Brookfield commissioners raise concerns about The Corners
Preliminary approval recommended for site work, but more
Michalets - Special to The Freeman
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD — On
Tuesday, Plan Commissioners recommended conceptual approval
and partial preliminary approval for site work to begin for
The Corners project, but shared many concerns first and
asked for additional information.
The conceptual approval for the mixed-use retail and
residential development to be anchored by high-end
department store Von Maur was given conceptual approval by
the Town Board in March. But that approval has since
expired, like other agreements such as for tax incremental
financing for the project that will also need to be
The item for Tuesday’s agenda dealt with utilities, water
lines and demolition work, but discussion often veered to
the larger picture.
While Tri-North Builders was hoping for a mid-December
start, the commission urged consideration for starting on
Jan. 2, so the three remaining businesses on the southeast
corner of Bluemound and Barker roads would not be disrupted
during the holiday shopping season. Other requests included
a written affirmation from Von Maur that it still intends to
be part of The Corners and a representative from Bradford or
Marcus Corporation would be present to discuss financial and
other aspects of the project.
Commissioner Eric Halbur said he was concerned that
preparation work would be done but then the deal for The
Corners would fall through.
“I love to think this is going to happen; I am all about
being positive,” Halbur said. “We can’t be stuck with a hole
in the ground on a property like that.”
Chuck Sampey, the owner’s representative for Bradford, which
is working with Marcus Corporation on a joint venture to
build and operate The Corners, said once the joint venture
agreement is in place and the contract is signed, then the
project can start in earnest.
The change in project leadership also worried Halbur and
other commissioners, who said there was a level of trust
with Marcus and it was with that company the town guaranteed
tax incremental financing.
Commissioner Mike Schmitt said town representatives had seen
conceptual drawings, but nothing with more detailed
“That’s what is giving us angst on this,” Schmitt said.
Plans being tweaked
Sampey said he was tweaking the plans, such as removing
turrets from buildings or adjusting a building’s angle, but
he would bring approximately 110-pages of plans to Town Hall
on Tuesday for review before that night’s Town Board
meeting. The board will then discuss the Plan Commission’s
Sampey said some of the more significant changes include
taking out office space and adding more floors to the luxury
apartments that the Mandel Group is handling.
Commissioner Ryan Stanelle said the town worked quickly in
the past to help meet the project deadlines, but now those
same items need to be approved again.
Sampey said with the project being so complex it takes a lot
Commissioner Len Smeltzer said he felt more comfortable with
the project Tuesday than in February because he was hearing
Sampey said he didn’t expect The Corners to open until
autumn 2016 with the space being turned over to retailers to
start building from about May to July 2016. The summer of
2016 is when model apartments might be set up.
“This is the kind of ramping up that is needed for a project
of this size,” he said.
In other meeting news, a public hearing will be held on a
conditional use permit for a memorial garden and columbarium
for cremated remains at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 20275