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Brookfield Von Maur TIF vote might be pushed into December

Town still waiting on guarantee from Marcus

Nov. 6, 2012

Town of Brookfield officials are still waiting for Marcus Corp. to guarantee the success of the Von Maur-anchored Corners shopping development.

“It really comes down to them getting all the necessary leases for the stores that will be attached to the anchor,” Town Administrator Rick Czopp said.

The Town Board and a special joint review board had been expected to vote on creating a special taxing district for the Corners by the end of this month, but that’s looking less likely now.

Under a tax-incremental financing district, the town would front $38 million to improve roads, install sewer and water lines and demolish vacant buildings. A bridge would be built across Poplar Creek that is at the east end of the project site.

Tax money generated by the added value of the improved properties would be diverted from the general tax roll to TIF debt repayment.

“Things are moving in the right direction, but everyone involved is being very careful,” Czopp said of the decision of whether to establish the district. “I would not be surprised if this rolls into December.”

The plan projects the specified district’s property values will increase from $66 million to $209 million. Developer Marcus Corp. in the past has stated it would guarantee $187 million, effectively covering the plan’s principal and interest, but a formal agreement has not yet been signed.

While negotiations between the town and Marcus continue, the newly formed Community Development and Redevelopment Authority on Oct. 31 designated the Corners site — bounded by Bluemound Road on the north, Interstate-94 on the south, Marcus Drive on the west and Poplar Creek on the east — a redevelopment area.

The abandoned Marcus West Point Cinema, an abandoned Menard’s and the almost-empty West Point Plaza Buildings now sit in the Corners development area, which is only a slice of the entire proposed TIF district.

The project, which would include a number of retail locations and some residential units, would be anchored by a Von Maur department store — the first in Wisconsin. Overall, it is expected to create 110 full-time and 40 part-time retail jobs with an annual estimated payroll of $3 million, as well as create an estimated 270 additional restaurant and service jobs. The Plan Commission gave its support to the creation of a TIF district in October.

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