Brookfield advances Toyota dealership overhaul, $7 million city contribution to Brookfield Square expansion

June 18, 2014

The City of Brookfield's Common Council approved steps in a number of big projects Tuesday night.

The council voted unanimously in their approval of a new plan, method of operation, and preliminary survey map for the Jack Safro Toyota dealership as part of its consent agenda.

The dealership is planning a complete overhaul of its current location at 20445 W. Capitol Drive. The plans are coming to fruition following the annexation of the property from the Town of Brookfield into the city in April.

Plans call for current structures on the plot to be demolished to make way for a new facility that will include all manner of assets. The project is being headed by Christopher Kidd & Associates, LLC.

"It's a state of the art facility. Safro is one of the top Toyota dealerships in the state," Christopher Kidd said at a City of Brookfield Plan Commission meeting June 9.

The lot owned by Safro Toyota is 291,711 square feet. Kidd says that 77,545 square feet will be covered by the future building, which will consist of two floors.

"The first floor is showroom space with a lounge, guest area, and some retail sprinkled throughout the space," Kidd said. "On the second floor we have our executive offices as well as our cafeteria and some of our more private spaces for running the dealership."

The facility will also include a service bay, a wash bay, and other support spaces.

City of Brookfield Director of Community Development Daniel Ertl endorsed the project.

At the same time, a lawyer for the Town of Brookfield has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the dealership in April.

The lawsuit seeks to enforce an agreement made by Jeanne Safro, President of Jack Safro's Automotive Group, in 2007, to avoid seeking annexation for at least 15 years on properties including the Toyota dealership.

Ertl says that Safro sought annexation in order to hook up to the City of Brookfield's municipal sewer and water system, which will be necessary for the car wash that is projected to be part of the dealership.

Town of Brookfield Administrator Rick Czopp declined to comment on the current status of the lawsuit and Jeanne Safro was unable to be reached by press time.

In January, the Wisconsin Department of Administration approved the annexation.

Brookfield Square

The Common Council also approved the allocation of $7 million from the city's tax incremental district No. 3 to be used for expansions to Brookfield Square.

The expansions will be done in two phases, with the first costing $450,000 and the second slightly more than $6.5 million.

The council approved the development agreement by a vote of 11-3 with Aldermen Christopher Blackburn, Jerry Mellone, and Bill Carnell voting against it.

"We're giving them money to make this profitable. They're not making this profit, the taxpayers are giving them this profit," Blackburn said. "This is unprecedented. You are giving $7 million to a single developer. This is a gift."

Other Aldermen expressed concern with improvements that other communities have been helping their shopping malls to make and felt that it is important that Brookfield continue to support Brookfield Square.

"I think the bigger risk for residents and taxpayers for this community is not moving forward with this and putting the future of Brookfield Square in some jeopardy," Alderman Bob Reddin said.

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