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Moorland shopping center proposed

First Federal Bank’s proposal for a branch at Greenfield Avenue and Moorland Road was greeted warmly by the Plan Commission on Monday.

First Federal Bank’s proposal for a branch at Greenfield Avenue and Moorland Road was greeted warmly by the Plan Commission on Monday.

Feb. 11, 2014

Moorland Road, already home to large hotels and Brookfield Square Mall, likely will gain two new shopping centers featuring dining destinations.

Briscoe Development and Management is proposing a 13,000-square-foot retail center for 1000 S. Moorland Road, the site of a former city fire station. The city has accepted the company's $410,000 offer for the property.

First Federal Bank plans to open an office just down the street at Moorland Road and Greenfield Avenue. That proposal includes space for new retail establishments and a plan to add a monument sign welcoming drivers to the city.

National chains sought

Jon Thoreson, a broker with Commercial Property Associates working on the Briscoe Development project, said the developer is looking for five or six tenants to fill out the 1-acre property, which includes a parcel north of the former fire station that Briscoe already owns. The house on that property will be torn down.

Briscoe hopes to begin construction in May for an opening in fall or winter of 2014.

Looking to capitalize on hotel and car traffic in the area, Thoreson said, the developer is going after national retailers. This could include some food establishments like a coffeehouse and sandwich shop, and possibly a salon or other types of retail. The site may include a drive-thru.

"You have close to 50,000 cars a day that go past the site, and that's tremendous traffic volume," he said. "You're at a light, by the interstate and by hotel rooms."

According to the site plan, cars would enter the center on Hackberry Lane, from a signalized intersection with Moorland. A parking lot with about 85 stalls would be adjacent to Moorland, with the 13,000-square-foot single-story retail building sitting on the eastern part of the property.

Brookfield Economic Development Coordinator Tim Casey said the development would be a welcome improvement to the commercial corridor.

"It's right in the cluster of hotels in that immediate area, and it's very close to Brookfield Square, so it's a good site for that type of retail," he said.

Thoreson said the developer is working on designs to bring to the city.

Addressing a gateway

First Federal Bank's plan to open a branch at Moorland Road and Greenfield Avenue comes with a proposal to add a welcoming touch to the gateway intersection and open space for new retail establishments as well.

Tarantino and Company is proposing a 4,200-square-foot, two-story First Federal Bank building with office space for another tenant, and a second building for retailers. Construction could begin as soon as May, with a goal of opening for spring of 2015.

The developer has brought a similar concept to the city in the past, but presented significantly different architectural designs to the Plan Commission on Monday. The facade of both buildings would include stone and a fiber-cement panel that looks like wood.

John Cronin, with AG Architecture, said designers came up with the idea for the main feature of the bank building, a concave front wall, "by way of sketching on iPads, where it's more like finger-painting."

Plan Commission officials said they thought the plans were much improved.

"I think it's really dramatic; it's an incredible improvement," Alderman Gary Mahkorn said. "Before it was just very cookie-cutter. It's neat to see something like this at one of our gateway entrances."

The property would feature a "Brookfield" monument sign, welcoming drivers entering the city on Moorland.

The developer plans to have up to three tenants in the retail building, with at least two food establishments, including a drive-up coffee shop with potential for outdoor seating. Fast food would not be allowed at that location, Brookfield Planning Administrator Michael Theis said.

The Plan Commission was meant to give feedback on the project and was not scheduled to take any action. Tarantino and Company will have to return to the Plan Commission to ask for zoning changes in order to move forward.

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