This highly coveted land site, known as Ruby Farms, was once the largest undeveloped parcel in the area. It offers prime frontage on major arterial roads and a highly traveled interstate. In 2013, Irgens successfully negotiated the land sale and acquired the 66-acre property. Irgens and the design team created a conceptual master plan for the development and aptly named it “The Corridor.” The team worked closely with city staff, elected officials and neighborhood groups and created an ambitious vision for the land that required rezoning to a mixed-use Planned Development District. To make this major suburban development feasible, a creative financing package was created.
It included private investment from Irgens’ own sources, traditional lender financing and a $7.42 million tax increment financing (TIF) grant from the City of Brookfield for infrastructure construction. With financing in place and approvals obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and others, the site was ready for master site infrastructure construction, which commenced in June 2015.
Today, leasing at The Corridor is aggressive; several elements of the mixed-use plan already are completed or under construction. This includes national retail, commercial outlot tenants and a two-story, 50,000 SF medical office building. Future phases will accommodate over 400,000 SF of Class A commercial office space, additional retail, hospitality and flexible use spaces.
The challenges on this project were many. The initial master plan was not approved by the City Plan Commission and modifications were required; re-zoning was difficult on the economically and politically important site; obtaining the TIF grant in an uneasy political environment proved arduous; securing permits from multiple government agencies was critical; and commencing construction early in order to to meet lease obligations accelerated the already fast-tracked process. Fortunately, these and other challenges were met successfully by Irgens and the development has positioned the City of Brookfield as a leading competitor for the region’s next corporate headquarters, new retailers and more.