After over a year of planning, Milwaukee developer Irgens is planning to move forward with the repurposing of the historic Ruby Farm along North Calhoun Road.
Irgens is in the process of developing The Corridor around the farmhouse and barn, and plans to preserve the pair of historic structures for future use.
The developer has not revealed much in the way of details for those buildings yet, but vice president Tom DeMuth said that the farmhouse will be going through extensive internal remodeling with Irgens planning for it to provide space for either office or retail use, such as a coffee shop.
"Plans are moving forward to renovate the Ruby house and barn in order to make them functional spaces within The Corridor development," DeMuth said.
Plans for the barn remain somewhat vague aside from the developer moving it from its current space west of the farmhouse to an area north of the house.
"Specific plans for how the barn will be utilized upon its renovation are still being finalized," DeMuth said.
City of Brookfield Alderman Jerry Mellone has been one of the most active voices in wanting to make sure that the Ruby Farm is preserved and respected as part of The Corridor.
In the summer of 2014, Mellone and many of his fellow elected officials, along with residents, were able to convince Irgens to preserve both the barn and the farmhouse. The developer had originally planned to only preserve the house.
"I think a coffee shop or a small office could be good. I always intended to have this be used as something viable so it just doesn't sit there empty," Mellone said. "I would support this."
But Mellone remains opposed to Irgens' plans to move the barn.
"If they move the barn, it presently has a basement structure under it and if you were to move it and just put it on a slab, it might not be as usable as it is now," Mellone said. "I'm also concerned that if they move the barn, it could get damaged."
Irgens plans to begin work on both the farmhouse and barn this summer.