Contracts are finalized and on-site work will soon begin on The Corners of Brookfield, a new 750,000-square foot premier lifestyle center that will be located on approximately 19 acres of land bounded by Bluemound and Barker Roads and I-94.
The final development agreement has been signed with the Town of Brookfield, demolition of the vacant Menards building on The Corners project site will begin in the coming weeks and a formal groundbreaking is planned for Spring 2015, with project completion anticipated in fall 2016.
In addition, The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), which initiated the development of The Corners, also announced today that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with IM Properties and Bradford Real Estate, two proven retail development and investment experts, to serve as the new project management team leading The Corners to completion. IM Properties and Bradford will serve as the managing member in the joint venture, and The Marcus Corporation will remain as a partner in the joint venture.
"As we have previously disclosed, it was always our intent to bring in a majority equity partner for this project," said Gregory S. Marcus, president and chief executive officer of The Marcus Corporation. "We knew that transitioning The Corners to an experienced equity partner and a Midwest real estate developer with deep retail expertise would speed the project timeline and ensure the best possible finished product. We are extremely proud of the efforts of our team and the investments we have made to make our vision for The Corners a reality. I’m confident that The Corners is on track to becoming a true destination in Southeastern Wisconsin that will spark new economic development opportunities in Brookfield and the surrounding areas. We are pleased to remain an investor in the joint venture."
Echoing that sentiment, Steve Pagnotta, president of Bradford Real Estate, said: "For 30 years, the Bradford team has built an enviable reputation as a leader in retail development in the Midwest. We have persevered through multiple economic cycles, remaining at the forefront of retail trends and leading to completion multi-faceted, groundbreaking developments. We have worked closely with IM Properties on multiple properties in the Midwest, and our repeat ability to deliver a superior final product is a credit to our development expertise and IM Properties’ investment capacity and capability, as well as our joint ability to form strong partnerships with tenants, partners, lenders and other interested parties that are vital to the success of a project such as The Corners. We look forward to adding our combined expertise to the long-term success of The Corners, which we believe will offer an unrivaled shopping, dining and living experience for visitors and tenants alike."
Design architect DDG is finalizing the plans for The Corners, with a general contractor expected to be named later this spring. Newly-merged CBRE/UCR has been retained to manage retail leasing for the upscale development. Initial financing for the development has been secured through a previously announced agreement with the Town of Brookfield, with the remainder coming from a mix of balance sheet equity from IM Properties, land from The Marcus Corporation and future construction loan commitments that are in the process of being negotiated.
"Relationships are important to us, as is local knowledge and expertise," said Robert Gould, vice president at IM Properties. "During the past six years, IM Properties and Bradford Real Estate have developed an excellent working relationship, and together have executed nine successful shopping center developments. Investing across an ocean, some 4,000 miles from home, requires a great deal of trust and confidence, both in your business relationships and in the quality of the end product. The Corners is a trophy investment opportunity, and we are confident that it will be a flagship development with a great future."
The $200 million development will serve as a vibrant destination for luxury shopping, dining, entertainment and living experiences. Plans call for 400,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 235 luxury apartments that will be managed by Milwaukee-based Mandel Group. Tenants will include a mix of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashion and accessories, home goods, grocery and specialty retailers.
"We are excited to be opening our first Wisconsin store at such a top-tier, upscale location like The Corners," said Jim von Maur, president of Von Maur Department Stores, whose 140,000-square-foot store will anchor the development. "We know shoppers will be thrilled with the mix of our wide selection of unique brand-name merchandise and unparalleled customer service, and we look forward to introducing Von Maur to customers throughout the greater Milwaukee area."
"We continue to view The Corners as a unique residential opportunity for the greater Brookfield area," said Barry Mandel, founder and president of Mandel Group, Inc. "The shops, restaurants and services of The Corners will provide our future residents with incredible convenience and a broad range of choices walkable from their home. The freeway accessibility is simply the best in the area and connects the property to nearly every major employment concentration in the region. The residences are all located on upper floors, and together with the elevation of the site, the views will be really interesting. Overall, the setting will have the buzz and energy of an urban setting, while providing terrific connectivity to the greater Waukesha and Milwaukee metro area."
In addition to premier shopping, dining and living spaces, The Corners will be organized around a central green space, making it an inviting hub of activity year-round. To keep visitors comfortable and dry during all seasons, the development will also feature free underground parking.
The Corners is expected to create significant economic benefits for Southeastern Wisconsin, generating more than 1,100 permanent new retail jobs and more than 325 temporary construction jobs. The Town of Brookfield conducted an independent assessment and estimates the development will generate annual sales tax revenue of over $8 million based on $157 million in total annual retail and restaurant sales. As a result of the creation of a new Tax Incremental Financing District, the Town of Brookfield projects that additional land and improvements value of approximately $187 million will be created as a result of new development, redevelopment and appreciation in the value of existing properties.
"The investment by local, regional and international players in The Corners project really speaks to the attractive location, growth opportunities and strong pace of economic development in the Town of Brookfield," said Keith Henderson, chairman of the Town of Brookfield. "We are very pleased to have reached an agreement to move this project forward and to work with this team to develop a showcase property that will be known statewide."