An update on Percheron Square, Brookfield

Percheron Square is the proposed development by the Kuttemperoors for the property known as Ruby Farms/WTMJ. Located at the southwest corner of Bluemound and Calhoun, the desire to develop this patch of property is driving the expansion of Calhoun Road between Bluemound and Greenfield, the relocation of a fire station to the NW corner of Greenfield and Calhoun, and a new split diamond interchange for I-94 on Calhoun and also Brookfield Road. (There’s speculation that since the city is planning to acquire land at I-94 and Calhoun, the entire interchange will be at Calhoun.)

To say the Kutemperoors have influenced local politics is understating that family’s attempt to drive land and public money into their bank accounts. Vince Kuttemperoor maintained an easy influence with city hall starting with Kate Bloomberg’s reign. (Oh, trust me, the word “reign” was specifically chosen.) Bloomberg, along with other elected officials at city hall, 5th district Alderman Gary Mahkorn and members of the planning commission at the time, attended the posh wedding of the older son, Sanjay. Later Kuttemperoor supported Mayor Jeff Speaker’s opponent, 3rd district Alderman Mike Jakus. When Speaker won, money flowed quickly into the new mayor’s campaign account from several members of the family. Later, Speaker and Kuttemperoor graced the front page of a glossy Milwaukee area magazine together.

All the background is to reiterate the importance of a Kuttemperoor request. They don’t go denied.

That’s why when I heard from a city hall insider the developer was requesting Swanson school property again as part of his redesigned Percheron Square plan, it caught my interest. I sent e-mails to Director of Community Development Dan Ertl and Elmbrook School District Superintendent Matt Gibson. Ertl denied any such news; Gibson confirmed it.

From Ertl:

—–Original Message—–
From: []
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 12:11 PM
To: Cindy Kilkenny
Subject: Re: Swanson school land

No new plan has been submitted and no representations have been made to me that the Swanson site is involved except as previously indicated in staff and applicant reports including the recommendation to eliminate the Ruby Lane road reservation and an easement for a small potion of Golf Parkway at Calhoun Road.

From Gibson:

From: Matt Gibson []
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 3:04 PM
To: Cindy Kilkenny
Subject: Re: Swanson school land

Hi Cindy:

Thanks for your request. While I don’t have correspondence, I am aware of a probable requested easement of a small parcel (initial estimate of 0.6 acre) of school district property at the southeast corner of the Swanson School site in order to achieve a square intersection of the proposed development with Golf Parkway.

The developer wants .6 acres, which they are describing as an easement, to build the new mixed use project. But city hall doesn’t know that yet? Of course they know. Gibson was seen walking out of the Mayor’s office, that’s how this got to me.

So much for a transparent government out of Mayor Jeff Speaker, huh?

I’ve got e-mails and a map waiting for me at city hall to see if I can piece together anything more. Not unexpectedly, the attempt is being made to circumvent the electorate’s right to manage school district property. That’s why an easement is being suggested instead of a sale. VK lost badly when he requested to swap Swanson a few years ago for a shiny new school. (Sorry, I’m link deprived for the moment. I’ll dig it up and pop it in when I find it.)

We’ve talked about this development in the past. You can find the old entries by typing “Percheron” in the search box to the right.

Also later today I hope to get to VK’s house near the failing Heron rookery reported this weekend by the local paper. There’s history to convey. In addition, I have news on Brookfield’s connection to the recent Walgreen’s tax ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


  1. BrkfldDad says:

    When I read both responses, and look at where the 0.6 acre is at Golf and Calhoun, it looks to me like this parcel was all ready part of some request in Ertl’s mind.

    “… as previously indicated in staff and applicant reports including the recommendation to eliminate the Ruby Lane road reservation and an easement for a small potion of Golf Parkway at Calhoun Road…”

    Could it be Ertl doesn’t think this is anything new, because it isn’t?

  2. I see what you mean. I read it that they were to eliminate a road reservation AND an easement.
    I’ll dig through to see if the second request was part of the original submitted.

    I did stop by city hall today and there’s nothing to indicate detail of the new plans through drawings or emails.

    4:55pm – Here’s the staff report from the first introduction of Percheron Square. I see where the plan is to vacate the Ruby Drive easement, but I don’t see anything about needing .6 acres from the district. I do think it’s a part of the new plan. Let me know if you see something I didn’t.

  3. Shawn Matson says:

    Cindy, that house is a blemish on all of the hard-working people in Brookfield.

    I’ve been past it several times during its construction and it only pains me more every time I see it.

    That’s after we forget the tragedy of the Heron rookery’s demise. Then again, the SLWC was a triumph over the butler garden snake (or whatever it was).

  4. Lucky Lady says:

    If the mayor is trying to garner more support with his recent votes to move the fire station #3 closer to affluent residents, etc., maybe he should be reminded of the Swanson School Swap vote. Wasn’t it about 3400 to 600? City hall and the School Board need to support residents instead of development. The congestion, vacant commercial property along Blue Mound and road construction are a poor reflection on the city. This sure isn’t the Brookfield I moved here to enjoy!

  5. BrkfldDad says:

    From the reading, I can see the confusion, but when I look back at Ertl’s response, it still seems clear, perhaps clear as mud, to me. Even though the grammar is perhaps not the best, I think he indicates the Swanson easement is nothing new. So, the question is… where is that tidbit buried?

    Lucky Lady, I’d love to agree, but given the apathetic approach of the majority as of late, to some significant issues (Calhoun, fire stations, etc…), I don’ t think 0.6 acre of Swanson land will raise the ire to the point of the school swap issue. Call me defeatist, I think this will be a blip on the radar soon forgotten.

  6. Such a small blip it won’t be felt. I did look and it’s not on tonight’s school board agenda. That’s probably the way it will all be handled.

    I’m as guilty as the rest of Brookfield. I spent a couple of years feeling battered and bruised by our cop turned mayor’s muscle tactics. Now I hardly notice. I guess we’ve gotten used to the abuse.

  7. Lucky Lady says:

    You’re right BrkfldDad and Cindy, it’s just a blip. But hope springs eternal. Maybe someday, more than 3 of us will care.