The reconstruction of Bluemound Road is now substantially complete, with the final touches being made this month. Those touches include activation of the permanent traffic signals and removal of the temporary ones; syncing the traffic signal timing, cleaning up the medians and painting the pavement markings.
Bluemound Road is a state highway, as are Capitol Drive and Greenfield Avenue. As such, the reconstruction of Bluemound was done by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, with the city of Brookfield cooperating on the improvement of key intersections. The disruption caused by this work on such a major thoroughfare has been difficult, but we hope completion of this project will result in improved traffic, safer travel and an economic boost to the area.
This is a good time to reflect on the importance of Bluemound Road as it runs through Brookfield from 124th Street on the east to Barker Road on the west. This five-mile stretch is one of the premier commercial corridors in Wisconsin. It is a major shopping destination, an office center and home to numerous hotels and restaurants.
Bluemound Road is anchored by Brookfield Square, one of the top regional malls in the Milwaukee Metropolitan area with 110 retailers and 16 restaurants. There are more than 200 additional retailers along this five-mile stretch, including the new Underwood Crossing Shopping Center, at 128th Street and Bluemound Road. Underwood Crossing is home to the new Target store which opened in July, as well as Trader Joe's and a branch of PNC Bank, both of which will open soon.
The office parks and buildings along Brookfield's Bluemound Road corridor drive business. Three office parks - Bishop's Woods, Executive Drive and Brookfield Lakes Corporate Center - each have more than 1 million square feet of office space, and each has one or more development sites available. In addition to these three quality office parks, when free-standing buildings along Bluemound Road are added, this five-mile corridor has more than 100 office buildings with a combined total of 4.5 million square feet of office space. This is by far the largest office market in the region outside of downtown Milwaukee.
Located on or near this five-mile corridor are 13 hotels ranging from select service, to full service, to extended stay. Together, these hotels provide 2,100 rooms, which is the third-largest concentration in the region (after downtown Milwaukee and the Gen. Mitchell International Airport area). Complementing these hotels are 80 restaurants offering a wide range of dining choices.
The reconstruction of this corridor of Bluemound Road has been a two-year project. Since its beginning, there have been significant new additions to the corridor. In specialty retail, DXL, Red Wing Shoes, The North Face, Tilly's and Water 2 Wine have been added. As to restaurants, there has been the addition of Cooper's Hawk, First Watch, Jersey Mike's, Red Robin and 8 Twelve MVP Bar and Grill, with Buffalo Wild Wings and Culver's coming soon. Offices that have been added include Peter Schwabe, Advantage Leasing Corp., Common Ground Healthcare, Connecture and Willis of Wisconsin.
With regard to the last two, Connecture, a leader in sales automation technology for the health insurance industry, located their 33,000-square-foot headquarters at Brookfield Lakes in August with 230 employees. Willis of Wisconsin, a leading insurance broker, announced in September that it has leased 26,000 square feet of office space at 400 N. Executive Drive for 110 employees.
With the completion of the reconstruction of Bluemound Road, this vital commercial corridor and the city of Brookfield are, more than ever, open for business!
Mayor Steven Ponto can be reached at City Hall, (262) 787-3525.
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