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Demolition makes way for more parking in Brookfield Village

Kathie Jaeger Ware and her husband, Richard Ware, stand in front of the Hoffman Avenue home her grandfather, Gustav Jaeger, bought 72 years ago. He spent 29 years as a Milwaukee Road telegrapher and station agent at the Brookfield Depot. While living at the home, he put a plank across the creek so he could walk to work. Kathie’s mother lived in the home until her death last year at the age of 93. The home was demolished this week to make room for a parking lot.

Kathie Jaeger Ware and her husband, Richard Ware, stand in front of the Hoffman Avenue home her grandfather, Gustav Jaeger, bought 72 years ago. He spent 29 years as a Milwaukee Road telegrapher and station agent at the Brookfield Depot. While living at the home, he put a plank across the creek so he could walk to work. Kathie’s mother lived in the home until her death last year at the age of 93. The home was demolished this week to make room for a parking lot. Photo By Mary Catanese

Feb. 5, 2014

An American Demolition bulldozer turned a home on Hoffman Avenue into a pile of rubble Monday to make way for a parking lot that business owners hope will bring more customers to the Village area of Brookfield.

Construction is planned to start in spring, as soon as possible after the thaw. The goal is to open the lot, at 18725-75 Hoffman Ave., in June, Economic Development Coordinator Tim Casey said.

In the heart of the Village area just east of Brookfield Road, the lighted lot will have 39 spots — significantly increasing the Village parking supply, which currently stands at 56 stalls. Two of the spaces in the lot will be for people with handicapped parking permits.

As the lot will be the largest one in the Village area, Casey said, Brookfield Village, Ltd., a nonprofit association that promotes the area, is considering moving the summer farmers market there. Its current location is at a smaller 19-stall lot one block north on Pleasant Street.

The hours for the Hoffman Avenue lot will be the same as the city's lot on Pleasant Street, where there is no overnight parking allowed, but cars will be able to park for an unlimited time during the day. If there is increased traffic to the Village area and the spots start to fill up, the city would consider putting a limit on the hours, Casey said.

The city purchased the Hoffman Avenue home and an adjacent lot of mostly wetland in September for $195,000. Construction on the property, just over a half acre, is estimated to cost at least $150,000.

Cyndy Salamati of the Elmbrook Historical Society, said the razed house was built in the early 1900s, but didn't have many distinctive features of the period — "very simple and functional for its era." She said the man who lived there had been a railroad agent who worked at a train depot in the Village area, and he and his wife died before the city obtained the land.

The wetlands and stream running west of the lot will be undisturbed. The city found the parking lot will not have a significant impact on runoff, so stormwater management is not required. There already are trees and landscaping on site.

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