One-of-a-kind Taco Bell proposed for dormant gateway parcel
Commissioners also advance Landmark Credit Union’s HQ proposal

By Dave Fidlin - Special to The Freeman

Dec. 11, 2018

BROOKFIELD — The metamorphosis of a high-profile stretch of land in Brookfield near Capitol Drive is rounding the bend as city officials consider a fast food eatery’s one-of-a-kind architectural proposal.

The Plan Commission on Monday combed through Milwaukee-based property owner Boulder Venture’s plans for a 2,131-square-foot Taco Bell restaurant on the southwest corner of Lisbon Road and 124th Street.

According to application materials, the proposed Taco Bell will feature a flat-roof building, broken into multiple roof panes. Other exterior features will include a brick wall panel, with corrugated metal shed awnings covering entrances, and gooseneck down lights illuminating portions of the establishment.

“This is designed specifically for this location,” Planning Administrator Mike Theis said. “It employs a specific architectural style.”

If plans proceed as presented, the new Taco Bell will be one of multiple phases intended to breathe new life into one of the city’s gateway areas.

In recent years, several buildings deemed obsolete — including a gas station, home and an aging office complex — were razed as the 124th Street corridor from Capitol Drive to Lisbon Road was reconfigured with future commercial uses in mind.

A small multi-tenant development, including a Starbucks, sits at the site of the former gas station on the northwest side of Capital Drive and 124th Street.

During their preliminary review of the Taco Bell plans, commissioners were overwhelmingly supportive of the architectural elements, which have been touted as mimicking the surrounding characteristics of other buildings.

The commission’s favorable recommendation advances to the Common Council next week for a final vote. If all steps in the process proceed as intended, the plan is to begin construction next year with a summer opening.

In other business Monday, commissioners:

■ Gave a favorable recommendation to a proposed redevelopment project linked to Landmark Credit Union’s planned relocation of its headquarters to 555 S. Executive Drive.

The commission’s review comes on the heels of a news release issued Friday from Mayor Steve Ponto’s office about the development.

“We’ve been working on this for quite some time,” said Ponto, who chairs the Plan Commission. “It’s exciting to see this.”

Although it intends to maintain a presence in its current home base of New Berlin, Landmark executives have stated they have outgrown their current facility.

Plans for the new 19.5-acre Brookfield headquarters include constructing a new office building of 150,000 square feet to 160,000 square feet. It is intended to serve as the home office, in addition to training facilities.

■ Postponed a discussion of a legislative referral concerning short-term home rentals, which have grown in popularity through such outlets as Airbnb.

Alderman Scott Berg made the referral to the Plan Commission, but the panel chose not to take it up at Monday’s meeting because Berg was not present.

Plans call for revisiting the issue again in the coming months.