New developments continue taking shape
Council OK’s details at The Corridor, Brookfield Square, Fountain Square

Freeman Staff

Nov. 24, 2017

A rendering of the BistroPlex theater planned for the current Sears
department store site at Brookfield Square.
Submitted rendering

BROOKFIELD — Developments at The Corridor, Brookfield Square and elsewhere in Brookfield are taking shape, following a series of recent motions by city officials.

The Common Council on Tuesday voted to proceed with a number of commercial and office projects in areas undergoing a metamorphosis.

One of the council’s favorable motions this week occurred at The Corridor, the mixed-use site along Bluemound Road that has already sprouted new development with such commercial establishments as Portillo’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods taking root.

Developers Deer Creek LLC and Irgens recently gave city officials certified survey maps calling for the creation of three separate lots, south of Golf Parkway. Two of the lots will house office complexes, while the last one will be home to the existing Ruby Farms buildings, which have been rehabilitated.

Dan Ertl, director of community development, said the divisions are part of a natural progression as the site takes form.

“This is the next in a series of land divisions at The Corridor,” Ertl said.

Aside from dividing the parcels and laying out their zoning and purpose, other specific details were not discussed this week. Office tenants will be announced at a later date.

BistroPlex, hotel and convention center

The council on Tuesday also unanimously approved Marcus Theatres’ plans to open its previously announced BistroPlex cinema on the southeast side of Brookfield Square next year.

The 41,000-square-foot development will replace a portion of the existing Sears anchor department store space in the first of multiple redevelopment phases.

CBL and Associates, which owns Brookfield Square, purchased Sears’ main store and ancillary auto center in January from Sears Holdings Corp., the chain’s Hoffman Estates, Illinois parent company.

Last week, Sears officials indicated they plan to maintain a presence at Brookfield Square, albeit in a much smaller footprint. Other portions of the existing Sears site will be razed or reconfigured for additional redevelopment.

Elsewhere at Brookfield Square, the council, on a 12-2 vote, adopted a resolution in support of an access agreement to conduct what has been described as “due diligence” at Sears Auto Center, which was shuttered in May.

The city is planning to purchase the 9.49-acre site and replace the auto center and parking lot with a hotel and convention center.

“I’m not going to support this,” Alderman Christopher Blackburn said of the access agreement. “If a hotelier wants to operate a conference center, they should pay for it. This is something the taxpayer shouldn’t have to bear.”

Alderman Jerry Mellone joined Blackburn in casting a dissenting vote.

Multifamily development

After a public hearing, council members also voted, 10-4, in favor of amending terms within a planned development district on a 3.38-acre parcel on the southeast corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Main Street.

The changes affect a 99-unit multifamily development known as The Artisan within the Fountain Square site. At its core, the amendment calls for changing how parking and the buildings themselves are configured within the development with more density.

Blackburn, who was one of the four aldermen against the changes, said he cast his dissenting vote because of the impact on the surrounding area. “We have zoning for good reason,” Blackburn said.

In addition to Blackburn, aldermen Renee Lowerr, Jerry Mellone and Lisa Mellone voted against the change to the planned development district agreement.

<<EARLIER: Officials reviewing plans for Brookfield Square BistroPlex theater