Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
Several weeks ago, the sign was for Linens and Things going out of business sale. Last year it was Comp USA. Now it is Circuit City's turn. Who will be next?
Since I live near Brookfield Square, I tend to shop on Bluemound in that general vicinity. The vacancies are becoming hard to miss.
Shopping malls like apartment complexes figure there will be a certain level of vacancy. Often their goal is not full occupancy but to push the envelope on rent rates. Not only are vacant businesses unsightly, they also are detrimental to other businesses and their community.
Cindy Kilkenny at Fairly Conservative has talked about the vacancies on her blog. In reference to Circuit City:
This will create a second large retail hole for the Continental Properties complex called Fountain Square. La-z-Boy left an empty space some time ago.
Does it matter to you? Yep. Taxes on these complexes are figured on occupancy. This one happens to be in that TIF district the mayor created to save Brookfield.
I remember attending the Planning Commission meeting for that TIF in 2004. I dug out these notes from my computer archives: "Summer 2004’s TIF #3 public hearing and council meeting. I attended and spoke along with 10 others who were against using our tax dollars to fund private development near Brookfield Square. The mayor was promoting it (and received numerous donations from the mall owners), Kilkenny and Blackburn voted against it. Kilkenny had found some errors in the math used to calculate the decline in rental revenues in the TIF area. These were figures that were used to justify the need to TIF the area. At first it seemed that property values were declining, but her digging revealed that VK was the one who asked that his property tax be reduced—and they were! One very clever resident brought up VK's request to have his property tax lowered because of his office vacancy rate. Seemed there was already an abundance of office space
It also matters that some failed businesses cannot pay their property taxes.
You know who is left holding the bag.
Please, comment content should relate to the subject of the post. Although I try to respond to many, do not interpret my lack of a response as agreement.
Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, Vicki Mckenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Mark Levin, CNS News