TOWN OF BROOKFIELD - Hundreds of shoppers were already lined up outside of Von Maur well before the store was set to open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday morning.
That's the sort of anticipation that has been surrounding The Corners in recent years.
The 750,000-square-foot mixed-use lifestyle center has been talked about conceptually for nearly 10 years. That excitement has only grown since 2015 when ground was finally broken on the project.
Saturday's culmination included not only the grand opening of the first Von Maur department store in the state of Wisconsin, but also a number of other shops at The Corners opening their doors to their first customers.
Shoppers came from all over the area to be a part of Saturday's festivities.
"It's been years now. I'm anxious for everything," Waukesha resident Kathleen Gross said.
Carol Siefkes and her fiancé Wayne Pederson of Waukesha also counted themselves among the weekend's first visitors.
"I wanted to see Von Maur and Kendra Scott and J. Jill. We've finally got some good stores around here," Siefkes said.
Before Von Maur's ribbon-cutting ceremony, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow has spoken repeatedly over the years about the effect that The Corners will have not only for the town of Brookfield, but the surrounding region.
"I want to welcome the Von Maur family, I want to welcome you guys to everything, we're excited to see you inside. Let's just keep working on this, this is fantastic," Farrow said.
Other shoppers excited for the abundance of offerings Saturday included Annie Lettenberger from the town of Brookfield.
"I've been following (The Corners) since it started. The excavation has been going on for so long," Lettenberger said. "Kendra Scott and Evereve, I'm really excited for those."
Oconomowoc resident Tracie Jacobs singled out Von Maur as having made a strong impression on her in the past.
"I first went to a Von Maur in Illinois and I really liked it," Jacobs said. "It's where we got my daughter's prom dress."
The Corners has been developed by Bradford Real Estate and IM Properties. IM Properties Vice President of U.S. Operations Robert Gould has consistently made the distinction that The Corners is not only a shopping center, but a lifestyle center.
"We want this whole project to be considered a town center," Gould said.
To that end, North Lake resident Jamie Siehr is on board.
"I have to say, I'm really excited for the whole lifestyle center and the socializing and all of it," Siehr said.
Von Maur was joined by Anthony Vince' Nail Spa, Evereve, francesca's, Kendra Scott, J. Jill, Scout & Molly's and Twigs for the first wave of tenants opening Saturday. BelAir Cantina also provided food via a walk-up station. The restaurant will open April 17.
Other opening dates announced thus far include Sendik's on April 23 and L.L. Bean on June 30.
Town of Brookfield Chairman Keith Henderson made some opening remarks in front of Von Maur as well, but summed up his thoughts succinctly.
"Come back often."