The Corridor site dropped for Brookfield conference center and hotel

City considering other Bluemound Road sites

The City of Brookfield is no longer considering plans for a conference center and adjoining 175-room hotel at The Corridor, a mixed-use development southwest of Bluemound and Calhoun roads being done by Irgens, and is instead considering other sites along Bluemound.


The Brookfield Common Council will go into closed session Tuesday to discuss land acquisition along the Bluemound Road corridor for the 35,000- to 45,000-square-foot conference center and adjoining hotel, said Daniel Ertl, community development director for the city of Brookfield.

Ertl could not comment on the specific sites, but confirmed one of the sites the city is considering is the Brookfield Square Mall area.

The conference center will include a large ballroom that is 15,000 to 18,000 square feet and a junior ballroom, plus other breakout rooms. The adjoining hotel will be at least 175 rooms, Ertl said.

The city will be sending out a request for proposal to secure a hotel development partner for the project, Ertl said. The city would provide funds to pay for the conference center.

“We want to move forward on this quickly, but judiciously, recognizing this is a significant decision that the common council will need time to absorb,” Ertl said. “Because the state law has changed on how the hotel room tax is allocated, we have incentive to move forward.”

Starting this year, municipalities can only keep 30 percent of the revenue generated by the hotel room tax for the general fund. The remaining money has to be spent promoting tourism.

The money Brookfield generates is how the conference center will be paid for, Ertl said. The total cost of the center is unknown, depending on the site that is chosen.

In March 2016, when the city first unveiled it wanted to build a conference center, the price was between $9 million and $12 million. At that time, the site was going to be at The Corridor.

But The Corridor site was dropped when it became clear there was not enough space for parking. The conference center will need between 400 and 600 spaces, said Nancy Justman, president and CEO of Visit Brookfield.

“We’re trying to avoid a parking deck, which would increase costs,” Justman said. “We’re hoping for a site that will easily accommodate a good-sized conference center and attached hotel, has good access points for people arriving and leaving and has decent visibility.”

City officials and Visit Brookfield have been working on plans for a conference center for more than two years. It will be the largest of its kind in the western suburbs.

“We know there is a need for this in Brookfield and know this will be successful,” Justman said.

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