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The Corners public financing plan wins initial OK

10/2/2012 - By Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel

A plan to help publicly finance The Corners shopping center, in the Town of Brookfield, has just won its first community approval.

The town Plan Commission voted 7-0 Tuesday night to endorse the proposal, which needs Town Board approval. The board will likely vote on the proposal at its Nov. 13 meeting.

If approved, the town would sell bonds to raise $35 million. Those funds would pay for road work, water and sewer lines, demolition of vacant buildings at the project site, the new development's parking structure and other items.

Additional future costs could include building a Poplar Creek bridge east of The Corners site and improving nearby Janacek Road. That would raise the town's total costs to about $40 million, plus interest charges.

Property taxes from The Corners, to be developed by Marcus Corp., and other future projects within the tax financing district would pay off
that debt by 2028, according to the town's estimate. Once the debt is repaid, those property taxes would flow to the town and other local
governments.

Davenport, Iowa-based Von Maur's proposed 140,000-square-foot department store would anchor The Corners. It would have 243,000 square
feet of additional shops and restaurants, along with 140 to 150 higher-end apartments managed by Mandel Group Inc.

The project would have an estimated value of $187 million, according to Ehlers & Associates Inc, the town's consultant.

The future estimated value of new projects within the entire tax financing district, which would include properties beyond The Corners site, is
$209 million. The current value for the district is $66 million. The Poplar Creek bridge project and other delayed costs would occur only if that $209 million target is exceeded.

To help ensure enough new property taxes are generated to pay off the town's debt within 16 years, The Corners will be subject to a special
property tax assessment if there is a revenue shortfall.

That assessment will be part of a separate development agreement with Marcus that will need Town Board approval. The tax financing district's proposed borders go north of Blue Mound Road and south of I-94, between Janacek Road and just west of Barker
Road. The Corners is planned for 19 acres between W. Blue Mound Road and I-94, east of Barker Road.

Marcus wants to begin demolishing the site's vacant buildings this fall, with construction of The Corners to begin next spring. It would open in late 2014.
Check back later for more details on the Plan Commission vote.

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