Historic train depot project receives $250,000 state grant
Building to be transformed into coffee shop

By Katherine Michalets

Oct. 19, 2018

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan announces Brookfield has received a $250,000 state grant to help finance the redevelopment of a historic train depot into a Fiddleheads coffee shop in The Village business district on Brookfield Road. Hogan joined Brookfield Mayor Steven Ponto, Waukesha County Board Chairman Paul Decker and other government and business leaders Thursday morning to announce the grant at the site of the future coffee shop.
Submitted photo

BROOKFIELD — The relocation and renovation of a former historic train depot in Brookfield will get a financial boost from the state with a $250,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Considered the second oldest building in Brookfield, the 1860s train depot on Brookfield Road in the historic village area is the recipient of the Community Development Investment Grant. The city-approved plans call for the building to be moved across the street and turned into a Fiddleheads coffee shop and retail coffee business. The company has six locations in southeastern Wisconsin.

“WEDC is committed to helping communities invest in revitalizing their downtowns to encourage economic growth,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, in a Thursday statement. “This project not only preserves a historic structure in the city of Brookfield, but will also serve as a catalyst for future development and investment.”

There are already plans to extend an existing county bike path to the 2,500square-foot train depot, which will serve as the trailhead.

“The train depot in the village area has always been viewed as an iconic symbol of the city of Brookfield’s roots,” said Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto. “With this greater partnership among the state of Wisconsin, Fiddleheads and the city, future generations will be able to enjoy it in a new and exciting way.”

Increased tax base

The project is expected to create about 12 to 15 part-time and full-time jobs and add more than $300,000 to the city’s tax base. The project also includes the development of six new single-family home lots, which also will ultimately increase the tax base.

“With the help of WEDC and its Community Development Investment Grant, this project was able to move forward, and will generate new interest and possibilities for the village area,” said Todd Willis, Brookfield’s economic development coordinator.

Work on the project is expected to start in 2019.

“This project allows us to unite a historic building with a wonderful local café environment,” said Ray Marcy, Fiddleheads owner. “Not only will a treasured site be saved, but the entire community can visit, enjoy and participate in this anchor site within the historic village area. It will serve as a landmark in the city of Brookfield and surrounding communities as well.”