BROOKFIELD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEWS August 26, 2014

  
FEATURED ARTICLE

124th Commerce District moving towards "Branding" of area


The City of Brookfield began meeting with property and business owners in the 124th Street Corridor more than two years ago, in anticipation of the street improvements currently underway in the area. With the assistance of a professional facilitator and marketing firm, more than 30 property and business owners met in a series of focus groups. 


 

Participants came from a wide cross-section of businesses, and most indicated that the central location within the metropolitan area, and the ease of access to the freeway system and major arterials were key factors in their decision to locate in the area. After  considering the names of successful business parks, and dissecting the elements of the corridor, participants shared their views on a series of potential words to describe the corridor.  As each group went through the process, there was strong consensus that the word "Commerce" accurately described the mix of industrial, service, retail and other businesses in the area.  The word "District" also emerged as a preferred option to words like corridor or park, as the area did not really have the features of a modern "industrial park" or "business park".  Similarly, the majority of participants felt that 124th Street was the primary access for most, with Burleigh and Capitol being routes to the area, depending on the origin and destination of those coming to the area. 

 

As the 124th Commerce District "name" was pieced together, a majority of those attending felt that this accurately described the area.  Preliminary graphic work was done to create a "logo" that complimented the name.  A follow up meeting had participants choose from several potential names and logos, and 124th Commerce District was again the consensus choice.

 

With the current road construction providing a significant improvement in infrastructure and aesthetics for the area (curb and gutter replacing open ditches, concrete streets replacing deteriorating asphalt), two banners were put in place to provide alternative "looks" and provide another opportunity for input.  With more than 30 property and business owners again responding, 91% chose the darker, brown sign, that also featured a globe graphic, conveying the scope and reach of businesses represented in the area. 

 

The City will be working with our marketing firm to design an initial entry sign for the area to be placed at 126th and Burleigh, in front of the new Exhibit Systems' property.  The City will be working with property owners on Robin, Townsend, Wirth and Feerick to hopefully place additional entry signs at these locations. 

 

Along with the significant new investments by private businesses in the area, the storm sewer, street, crosswalk and entry sign improvements send a positive message about the future of the 124th Commerce District. 

 

 

"Located in the heart of Southeastern Wisconsin, the City of Brookfield is a community of choice for families and businesses and a premier sustainable place to live, work, shop, and play."

 

City of Brookfield

2035 Vision  

124th Commerce District seeing significant investment

 

The area between Burleigh Road and Feerick Street (one block south of Capitol Drive), west of 124th Street to the 128th Street right-of-way, is seeing a significant transformation this year.

 

The City began meeting with property and business owners in the area about two years ago, to plan for scheduled street improvements.  In a series of focus groups with owners, a strong consensus emerged that a storm sewer system to replace open drainage ditches, and concrete streets with curb and gutter, would be preferable options as streets were rebuilt in the area.  The potential of "branding" the area was explored, and with the help of a professional facilitator, the name "124th Commerce District" emerged.


 

The 124th Street Commerce District logo preferred by area business owners


 

This name reflects the mix of commercial uses in the area.  There are 58 industrial buildings in the area, with about 1.4 million square feet of space; 13 office buildings with almost 200,000 square feet of space, and 7 retail or restaurant buildings with about 100,00 square feet.  The retail and office buildings on Burleigh and 124th Street, are mixed with industrial buildings that are home to manufacturers, wholesale and distribution firms, showrooms for home improvement products, and a variety of other uses.  The 124th Street area clearly has a wide range of commercial activities, and collectively an area of buildings greater in size than Brookfield Square Mall.

 
 

 

Storm Sewer and Street construction moving forward:

 

An engineered storm sewer system is being installed in the area, to replace a series of drainage culverts and some underground pipe placed over the years as the area developed.  Concrete streets with curb and gutter will facilitate the new drainage system, and provide an aesthetic improvement along with a durable road surface.  To further enhance aesthetics, colored concrete is being used in crosswalk areas on the Robin, Townsend, Wirth and Feerick intersections with 124th Street.  The City is also working with property owners to explore the potential for entry signs to identify the area.  All storm sewer and street improvements in the area are scheduled to be completed this fall.


Private investment picks up:

 

Investment by privately owned businesses in the area has increased substantially in the last year.  

  

Wisconsin Firearms Training

A group of investors purchased the old B&G golf store at 12730 W. Burleigh Street and is completely rehabilitating the building as a Five Star indoor shooting range and training center.  The facility is planned to open this fall, and the new exterior will complement the Exhibit Systems building immediately to the east, which remodeled and opened itself in May of 2013.


 

Wisconsin Firearms Training is rehabilitating the former  B & G Golf into a Five Star indoor shooting range


Kubichek Property Leasing

Kubichek is recladding the fašade of its building at 12530 W. Burleigh, which is leased to Impact Networking, an integrated marketing, communications, and office equipment supplier.  The fašade improvements will compliment both the Wisconsin Firearms Training and Exhibit Systems buildings to the west.


 

Kubichek Property Leasing is recladding the building at 12530 W. Burleigh, home to Impact Networking


 

Stark Asphalt/Northwest Asphalt
The owner of Stark Asphalt and Northwest Asphalt purchased the building at 12845 W. Burleigh and is remodeling the interior for their offices.  Stark will be moving approximately 20 office employees to their new offices in early fall.

 

360 Direct - 

360 Direct, a business to business marketing firm, purchased the building at 3245 N. 126th Street, just north of Burleigh, and has moved its national headquarters there.  360 Direct, with offices in Brookfield and Austin, Texas, provides digital marketing, strategy, inbound marketing, branding and web design, along with other traditional print, mail and advertising services.


LJ Design and Manufacturing (Laacke & Joys)

Laacke & Joys purchased the former VerHalen/Pella Window building at 3205 N. 124th Street, just north of Burleigh, and is rehabilitating the property to house its manufacturing operations. LJ makes sewn and other products for OEM's, municipalities, schools, the military and medical markets, and through its Concept Chairs division, makes a line of ergonomic chairs used in dispatch centers and other intensive use environments. LJ has recently moved 48 employees to this location.


Signs by Tomorrow -

Signs by Tomorrow purchased the building at 3415 N. 127th Street, and will be moving its operations from West Allis to a portion of this building.  Signs by Tomorrow provides a full range of exterior, interior, event, directional and wayfinding signage and graphic solutions. Signs by Tomorrow will be moving into the new property on September 15th. 


 

While much of this private investment in the area was in the works prior to the road construction, in several instances the City's plans for improvements in the area played a part in businesses deciding this was a good area to invest in.  The future looks bright for the 124th Commerce District.

 

 
 Your Questions, Comments & Requests are Welcome

 

If you need any information for your business or for someone considering a business opportunity in Brookfield, contact:

 
Tim Casey  Economic Development Administrator  City of Brookfield  2000 N. Calhoun Road  Brookfield, WI 53005-5095  262-797-6694  casey@ci.brookfield.wi.us 

 
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Brookfield Economic Development

 

The City of Brookfield Economic Development Administrator is Tim Casey. Economic Development Committee members include: Nate Cunniff, BMO Harris Bank; Bob Reddin, Alderman, City of Brookfield; Glen Allgaier, School District of Elmbrook; David Krutz, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Scott Oleson, Brookfield Square Shopping Center; Steve Miazga, R. A. Smith National and Brookfield Chamber of Commerce; Brian Shecterle, Culver's Restaurant & Shecterle Commercial Properties LLC.

 

The Economic Development Committee generally meets on the first Monday of every month (excluding July). For meeting agendas and minutes, please visit:

 

http://www.ci.brookfield.wi.us/archive.asp