BROOKFIELD — After 60 residents voiced their opposition to a proposed five-story mixed-use building on the Wheel & Sprocket property at a public hearing in September, the developers have changed their proposal.
The initial proposal consisted of a building on the corner of Lilly Road and Capitol Drive with one floor of commercial space and four floors of apartments totaling 64 units, plus 10 townhome units behind it. Now, the developer is proposing one building which will wrap around the whole lot, reducing the overall height and keeping the total number of units about the same, city documents show.
The developers, The Heimat Group, and the revised proposal will be before the Plan Commission on Monday, where they will schedule another public hearing on the proposal, the meeting agenda says.
One of the primary concerns residents shared at the public hearing was that the building was too tall at 70 feet, which they said didn’t fit the area and was disrespectful to neighbors in single-family homes.
“This revised proposal seeks to compromise and address important issues raised by constituents such as building height and massing, and traffic conditions at the Capitol Drive and Lilly Road intersection, all while still retaining the opportunity for the economic feasibility for the overall project,” The Heimat Group said in a memo to the city .
Along Capitol Drive, the building will have one floor of commercial space that will primarily be occupied by Wheel & Sprocket, a bike shop that opened in 1973, and three stories of apartments above it. Instead of the row of townhomes disconnected from the mixed-use building, there will be a three-story apartment building.
These will be connected on the west side of the property only on the second and third floors, allowing cars and pedestrians to access the “internal street” between the north and south portions of the building.
This proposal reduces the height of the building’s tallest part to 58 feet with 75 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
Many city officials have called this corner of Brookfield blighted as it is occupied by Wheel & Sprocket, which has called their current building obsolete, and an abandoned Amoco station.
The Amoco station left behind environmental contamination that will cost $3.2 million to remove. Amoco is not legally responsible for cleaning up this contamination, and keeping the number of apartment units high is necessary to offset these cleanup costs, developers said.
City staff has maintained that this proposal is in alignment with Brookfield’s 2050 comprehensive plan, which is meant to guide future development and calls for denser development at primary intersections such as this one.
Many of the 60 residents who participated in the public hearing brought up concerns of density, traffic and property values. A petition against the proposal with 533 signatures was also submitted to the city.
The six people who support the proposal say they are not concerned about the aforementioned issues and don’t want to see this corner stay as it is. Further, developers have said that Brookfield’s apartment vacancy rate is too low and apartments are becoming too expensive.
The Plan Commission will also review and act on a resolution and ordinance related to a proposal to build 203 workforce apartment units in the Bishop’s Woods Office Park.
There was a public hearing for this project last month where local business leaders supported it, saying Brookfield is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many who work in the city, such as teachers or health care workers.
This project will still require Common Council action.
City staff is also recommending that the commission approve nine single-family homes to be located in a cul-de-sac at the northeast corner of Capitol Drive and Pilgrim Road.
The Plan Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the City Hall Council Chambers, 2000 N. Calhoun Road.