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Brookfield gives preliminary approval to Trader Joe's plans

March 14, 2012

Brookfield became one step closer to bringing the third Trader Joe's grocery store in the state to the area after approving site plans Monday.

The store was approved last year as part of the Underwood Crossings development in the 12000 block of Bluemound Road, which will be anchored by a Target. Trader Joe's already exist in Madison and Glendale.

Approval of the site plan sets the dimensions of the store along with its layout, as well as the aesthetics of the grocery store's façade.

Alderman Gary Mahkorn said that in his time as an elected official, getting a Trader Joe's to Brookfield is one of the top 10 most asked about topics, up there with property taxes. For years, people have asked Mahkorn when Brookfield would get a store and why one hasn't already been built.

Cohesiveness key

"We view this as the gateway to Underwood Crossing," explained Stephen Smith, project architect. Smith's firm did not create the plans for Target, and it was Smith's task to create a design for Trader Joe's that would flow with the development as a whole, but also stand out.

"You play off of the materiality, but it's a different scale," Smith said. "The design guidelines want to see a variety of architectural design with compatibility to the adjacent buildings.

"The lot had an angled property line and that kept us from having a square building, but we viewed that as an opportunity create a unique design element."

The building accounts for the lot shape by creating what can be viewed as an accent angle that gives the store a modern feel.

The grocery store will be built mostly of the same materials as the Target. Unlike other chain stores, like McDonald's, which created upscale versions of their usual storefronts, the Trader Joe's will have a relatively typical commercial façade with taupe cast walls and reddish brick.

While it won't look identical to the Trader Joe's in Glendale, it will be roughly the same size.

Minimizing impact

Located in the northeast corner of the lot next to a retailer to be named later, the national upscale grocer will have a single entrance on the Bluemound Road side.

Trader Joe's and the surrounding businesses will be on opposite ends of the lot from Target. There will be roadways through the development to connect the businesses, but each will have dedicated parking. There will be 140 spots in the Trader Joe's parking lot.

Accommodations were made to strategically place waste bins to minimize their visibility from drivers crossing Bluemound.

A 250-foot buffer assuaged the fears of city officials. Also, a wall specifically designed to keep the grocery carts out of sight was part of the plan.

A recommendation from the Plan Commission still must be approved by the Common Council, which could be as soon as next week's meeting.

Next Step

WHO:City of Brookfield Common Council

WHAT:meeting to approve Trader Joe's site plan

WHEN: 7:45 p.m. March 20

WHERE: Brookfield City Hall, 2000 N. Calhoun Road

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