Plans for Town of Brookfield Hilton hotel advancing
Town Board to act on conceptual, preliminary approval Tuesday

By DAVE FIDLIN - Special to The Freeman

Dec. 2, 2017

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD — A dormant, three-story office building on the town’s far west side could soon give way to a new hotel concept.

The Plan Commission on Tuesday recommended conceptual and preliminary approval for Hilton Worldwide’s proposed 82-room lodging facility, Tru by Hilton, at 20925 Watertown Road.

The Town Board will decide whether to issue both sets of approvals, which would spur more granular planning efforts, when it meets on Tuesday.

Hilton first announced plans for opening the Tru property two months ago. The venerable hotelier recently opened another lodging facility, Home2 Suites by Hilton, nearby at 650 Larry Court.

Town officials had to rezone both properties from an office and professional business designation to accommodate the proposals.

“The process takes a while,” said Gary Lake, the town’s development services administrator. “But it is moving along. It’s something we’ve been looking at the past few months.”

Tru, unveiled in early 2016, is the newest branding concept under the Hilton umbrella. Several hundred such properties have since popped up across the U.S. and Canada.

Company executives have targeted Tru properties toward a “midscale” clientele described as cost conscious, yet desiring some higher quality amenities and experiences that might be a cut above other value-oriented chains.

If the Town Board grants the conceptual and preliminary approvals, Lake said

Hilton representatives can begin working on architecture, lighting, landscaping and technical engineering details. Such items are part of the municipality’s final review process.

If a tentative timeline proceeds, Lake said Hilton could begin physical work on the Tru development in early 2018. Before then, however, a demolition crew must raze the existing office building. It has been empty for about five years.

Watertown Road corridor

In a big-picture sense, town officials are reviewing the future of the Watertown Road corridor, which is primarily populated by small office buildings.

Commissioners this week reviewed a corridor redevelopment plan along the thoroughfare, immediately north of Bluemound Road. For now, the document review is staying in their hands, though Lake said it will eventually go before the full Town Board.

Rather than take up each redevelopment proposal piecemeal, Lake said the planning document would serve as a guide as future proposals bubble to the surface along the corridor.

“There are questions of what kind of impact new developments could pose,” Lake said, pointing to traffic as an issue currently under the microscope.

This coming week, town officials could also issue a conditional-use permit to the operators of a proposed adult day care facility at 20711 Watertown Road.

The Plan Commission recommended moving forward with the plans, which require a zoning amendment since the business plan does not currently fit the area’s zoning code.

The Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall, 645 N. Janacek Road.