There is an old saying that the three most important considerations in real estate are: 1) location; 2) location; and 3) location. This saying helps explain why the Bluemound Road corridor as it runs through Brookfield has been so successful.
First, this corridor is conveniently located approximately 10 miles from downtown Milwaukee with easy access to I-94 and yet it has the numerous advantages of a suburban community. There are spacious lots, excellent schools, safe neighborhoods and a very talented, affluent population. This corridor is located within Waukesha County, which is known for conservative, responsible government with relatively low taxes. The city of Brookfield itself has historically been very demanding on the quality of construction within its borders and this has paid dividends over the years. And, of course, success engenders more success.
The anchor for the Bluemound Road corridor is Brookfield Square Mall, which is ideally located at the intersection of Bluemound Road and Moorland Road, right next to the Moorland Road/I-94 interchange. Brookfield Square Mall is one of the top regional malls in the area with 100 retailers and 19 restaurants. The 3-mile stretch of Bluemound Road from Moorland Road to Barker Road features more than 200 additional retailers, including casual and fine dining, with more than 80 restaurants in total.
There are 13 hotels, on and near Bluemound Road, ranging from select to full-service to extended-stay, which provide more than 2,100 rooms, the third largest cluster in the region — after downtown Milwaukee and the Mitchell Airport area. There are three office parks along this corridor: Bishop’s Woods, Executive Drive, and Brookfield Lakes Corporate Center, each having over 1 million square feet of office space. When free-standing office buildings along Bluemound Road are added, the corridor boasts more than 100 office buildings with 4.5 million square feet of office space, by far the largest office market in the region outside of downtown Milwaukee.
As the national economy slowly recovers from the Great Recession and with interest rates continuing at historically low rates, strong new development is occurring throughout Brookfield’s Bluemound Road corridor. This development has also been encouraged by strategic municipal use of tax incremental financing. Recently, Brookfield Square has replaced 20,000 square feet on the east side of the Sears property with five new retail spaces, each having its own “store front” facing Moorland Road. New tenants include BlackFinn Ameripub, Jason’s Deli, Mooyah Burger and University Bookstore. Plans are underway to add 50,000 square feet of retail space to the east and north sides of the Boston Store with a two-story parking structure connected to the west side of the store.
Plaza 173 at the corner of Calhoun and Bluemound roads has been redeveloped by its new owner, HSA Commercial Real Estate, which developed the Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa. The Plaza 173 shopping center has been expanded and remodeled, including a new façade. There is a new 11,000-square-foot outbuilding close to Bluemound Road, which houses the center’s two carry-over tenants: Men’s Wearhouse and Kessler Jewelers. Plaza 173 has been renamed “Calhoun Crossing” and will be anchored by Fresh Thyme, a specialty grocery store with 31,000 square feet expected to open in the spring of 2017. Calhoun Crossing also includes a 28,000-square-foot Total Wine and More, and DSW shoes.
HSA Commercial Real Estate and its partner, Innovative Capital Advisors, have recently also acquired the 217,346-square-foot Brookfield Fashion Center, with plans to reinvigorate the tenant mix. In acquiring this property, HSA cited the attractive demographics of the Brookfield area and the substantial frontage on Bluemound Road.
Irgens Development is building “The Corridor,” a $150 million mixed-use development on the 66-acre Ruby Farms site. This development includes the Shoppes at the Corridor, anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, on the north end of the property near Bluemound Road, and featuring the first Portillo’s restaurant in the state of Wisconsin. A medical facility and a high-image flag hotel are envisioned for the middle of the site. On the south end of the property, plans call for the Corridor Corporate and Technology Park — with Class A suburban office space which will be highly visible from Interstate 94.
On the west end of Bluemound Road, in the town of Brookfield, work is proceeding on The Corners development, anchored by Wisconsin’s first Von Maur Department Store. There will be approximately 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, together with 247 apartments, and 1,900 parking spaces below the center. The Corners is expected to open in the spring of 2017.
This is an exciting time for our community. This new development will enhance the position of Brookfield’s Bluemound Road as one of Wisconsin’s premier commercial corridors.