Brookfield’s conference center and hotel plans could move forward next week, with the common council and plan commission scheduled to vote on conceptual plans and initial designs of the $32 million project.
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Rendering by Kahler Slater[/caption]
The conference center is part of a larger redevelopment plan at the south end of Brookfield Square Mall that also includes new restaurants and entertainment at the former Sears site.
“The Brookfield Conference Center will stimulate economic activity throughout the region, especially the Bluemound Road corridor,” Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto said in a written statement. “The Conference Center mixed in with the entertainment, dining and shopping of Brookfield Square Mall will have a synergistic effect, with the conference center and the Mall each benefiting the other.”
The project includes a 54,000-square-foot conference center and an attached 168-room hotel – the Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee/Brookfield Conference Center.
The conference center includes an 18,000-square-foot main ballroom and 6,000-square-foot junior ballroom. The conference center will be linked to the hotel by a glass walkway. A 9,000-square-foot outdoor garden is also planned.
“The hospitality industry in the Brookfield market is very excited about this dynamic development,” said Nancy Justman, president/CEO of Visit Brookfield. “The Conference Center will be a demand generator helping to increase hotel stays, restaurant visits and retail expenditures in the Brookfield area.”
A tax-incremental financing district to help fund the acquisition of the land, the former Sears Automotive Center site, has also been created. The real estate closing for the property is expected to be finalized on June 28. In addition, a portion of the city’s hotel room tax revenues will be used to finance the construction of the conference center, eliminating most if not all costs from general city revenues.
Construction on the project is expected to begin this fall, with plans to open in early 2020.
Additional redevelopment projects planned at the south end of Brookfield Square include a Marcus Cinemas BistroPlex, WhirlyBall–a hybrid restaurant and entertainment center, and several restaurants including Uncle Julio’s and Outback Steakhouse.