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Town of Brookfield Proposes $37M Financing Plan for The Corners / Von Maur Project

The plan, to be reviewed Tuesday and set for public hearing Sept. 26, calls for the town to borrow $37.18 million for public improvements and a parking structure, and to repay the debt with new tax revenue in 16 years.

The Town of Brookfield would provide a $37 million public financing district to help spur The Corners redevelopment anchored by the state's first Von Maur department store, under a project plan released Thursday.

Public reviews of the plan will begin Tuesday, amid the emergence of an anonymous website, "Follow the Money Brookfield," that purports to oppose the financing and seek petition-signers against it. Emails seeking comment sent to the only contact listed on the website (an email address) were not returned.

A Joint Review Board, comprised of representatives from the town, Waukesha County, Waukesha County Technical College and school district, will review the plan at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall, 645 Janacek Rd.

And a public hearing seeking citizen input will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at Town Hall.

The Corners, proposed by the Marcus Corp., would raze the former Marcus Corp. West Pointe Cinemas and , as well as a strip mall and  south of Blue Mound Road and east of Barker Road. New construction on the 19 acres would include a 140,000-square-foot, two-story Von Maur store, as well as an retail, office and residential apartments. There also would be a large underground parking structure and green town square.

The town's financing would fund infrastructure, such as roads and utilities, as well as construction of a large underground parking structure at the former Menards and Marcus Corp. theater site northeast of the I-94 / Barker Road exit.

The town would borrow funds in the next five years and repay the debt with tax revenue paid by the new development, estimated at full build-out to be worth about $150 million.

The tax incremental district includes lands outside of The Corners, stretching east to Janacek and to lands north of Bluemound Road, south of I-94 and west of Barker. The total value of the entire district is estimated to rise from about $66 million to about $243 milion, the plan says.

That debt would have to be paid within 16 years, under Act 11, a state law passed to give the town the unique power to create such a district only for this specific development. Towns have the ability to create some tax districts, such as for remediation, but not for a project such as The Corners.

Cities and villages, however, have up to 27 years to repay debt in tax financing districts.

The project plan says it will take the full 16 years — or until 2028 — to repay the debt.

Stay tuned to Brookfield Patch for more on the project plan.

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