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Soerens dealership plans remodel, expansion

March 11, 2014

The Soerens family hopes a modernist remodel will give a fresh face to its Brookfield Ford dealership, which has been in business on the northeast corner of Capitol Drive and Brookfield Road since it was built in 1970.

As proposed to the Plan Commission on March 10, the upheaval would include an expansion of about 20,000 square feet to accommodate a new show room, car wash and service area. The building is currently about 30,000 square feet on an 11-acre site. They hope to begin construction in early summer.

In a detailed presentation about modernist architecture emphasizing form that follows function, Peter Ogorek, president of Perspective Design, said the design is intended to be utilitarian and sustainable.

"The (current) building demonstrates the aesthetic that existed in 1970," Ogorek said. "Obviously that's not what Ford is trying to broadcast."

With light gray and charcoal coloring, the building would use aluminum and metal paneling; vision glass; and some concrete masonry.

Commissioners commended the effort.

"I don't think there's any doubt the community would like to see the facility upgraded," said Commissioner Kevin Wahlgren.

However, they did have some concerns from neighbors about the north side of the dealership, which faces a residential area.

Ogorek said the plans include installing more landscaping north of the building to screen it from view.

Wahlgren and others were also critical of the design's placement of garage doors at the front of the dealership, arguing it shouldn't be the first thing drivers see from Brookfield Road and Capitol Drive.

Ogorek said he would consider the feedback but that the company had looked at several options and settled on this one because it provided the easiest flow for customers.

The Plan Commission recommended scheduling a public hearing on the project. The Common Council could approve the hearing at its next meeting March 18.

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