work Monday to tear down the structure at the end of
Brookfield Square mall that once housed Sears. It will
be replaced by a movie theater, entertainment-focused
restaurant and a conference center.
BROOKFIELD — As talk of Brookfield Square’s
metamorphosis has heated up in the first half of 2018,
much of the attention has been focused on the
redevelopment of the Sears department store and auto
recent dramatic shifts within the retail industry mean
more changes are afoot at the half century-old shopping
mall, which its owner says is adapting and adjusting to
shifts in consumer behavior and desires.
spring announcements that Toys R Us Inc. and The Bon-Ton
Stores Inc. would be liquidating means two big box
vacancies have arisen at and near the mall.
Wayne, N.J.-based Toys R Us, which closed all its
remaining stores June 29, leaves behind a big-box
building at 355 S. Moorland Road.
Bon-Ton, dual headquartered in Milwaukee and York, Pa.,
operates locally as Boston Store. The company will
shutter all of its locations — including the Brookfield
Square anchor store at 15875 W. Bluemound Road — by the
end of next month.
Ertl, director of community development with the city of
Brookfield, said the department he leads has both sites
high on the radar screen, though he confirmed this week
there was nothing to report at this time.
redevelopment plans on either site have come forward,”
Ertl said. “But the city remains optimistic something
will fill their shoes shortly.”
filled with the items kids’ dreams are made of, Toys R
Us, 355 S. Moorland Road,
sits empty in Brookfield.
piece of the puzzle in charting the next phases for
Boston Store and Toys R Us is the ownership group and
agreements in place.
the case of Boston Store, a developer known as BT Multi
LLC owns the Brookfield Square anchor store, according
to Waukesha County assessment records.
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
reveals BT Multi LLC was established three years ago.
Bon-Ton previously owned the Brookfield Square Boston
Store outright, but sold it to a real estate trust in a
SEC filing in June 2015 revealed Bon-Ton at the time
received $84 million for the sale of six sites, which
also included local Boston Store locations at Mayfair
and Southridge malls.
Stacey Keating is spokeswoman with CBL Properties, the
Chattanooga, Tenn.-based firm that owns most of
Brookfield Square. While Boston Store continues to
operate in its anchor space through the summer, Keating
said CBL is working cooperatively to strategize next
are working with the owner on redevelopment plans that
will elevate the building into a more productive use for
the property,” Keating said.
the case of Toys R Us, its future is murkier, though the
site is being marketed and auctioned off as a part of
the company’s bankruptcy.
Despite its close proximity to the new hotel and
conference center planned for the south side of
Brookfield Square, Ertl this spring confirmed Toys R Us’
standalone store was not a part of the redevelopment
Other smaller-scale announcements also have arisen in
recent weeks at Brookfield Square. Vici Capilli ceased
operations at the mall late last month after 26 years in
“Our lease is up, and we’ve kind of been looking for
another place, and we haven’t been able to find one
yet,” Penny Rushing, owner of Vici Capilli, told The
Freeman last week. “We’re moving our stylist and our
complete staff (to a West Allis location) so nobody has
lost their job.”