Brookfield Square Mall – a dog’s breakfast of development

Yesterday the good people of CBL announced that renovations to Brookfield Square Mall are complete.

I popped by to take a few photos.

Towards Sears

The new stores

Barnes & Noble - Brookfield Square

Towards Boston Store

The new Moorland side face – from Claim Jumper to Mitchell’s Fish Market – adds a little dimension. The awnings for Bravo! Cucina Italiana do more to dress things up than any other. Still, Sears to the south and Boston Store to the north are unbelievably mismatched. As a girlfriend would say – it looks like a dog’s breakfast.

It’s a shame. The TIF district was supposed to spiff up this area of Brookfield. The mall improvements were slated before the TIF, and they are not part of the TIF. Sears, Boston Store, and JC Penneys, and some of the outlot development are part of that plan. Fresh Market, Stir Crazy, Flemings and the new Ethan Allen are in the plan. (You can see the boundaries on page two of this city document.)

What happened to the promise of Brookfield’s glory days we received in Spring of 2006?

FYI – CBL Properties is seeing their stock slump like everyone else. Gone is the spectacular February 2007 high of nearly $49 a share. Today’s price? Less than $6. Market cap is down under $400 million. CBL reported third quarter revenues last week and show they are seeing a softening of their market. Same facility prices are trending down. CBL is also cutting costs. I wonder if that will include donations to local political candidates?

(Sorry for the blatant schadenfreude, this is an opinion blog, after all.)

The health of Mayfair Mall’s owner is in the news today. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that group has debt they may not be able to refinance. Wauwatosa has contributed to Mayfair’s development with a TIF as well.


  1. I think the “vision” is to be the first mall with no parking spaces.