Less than 3 1/2 months into the new year already a quartet of new attractions have opened in the Village of Brookfield.
The Gift Shoppe, based in Cudahy, will be opening its second location in the Village on or around May 1.
The Gift Shoppe will join Basket Weaving Studio and Petals Floral Design, which both recently made their homes on Pleasant Street. Petals Floral Design, which provides arrangements for weddings and other special events, moved to the Village from its former location in Wauwatosa.
Also relocating to the Village will be Treat Street Popcorn, which is moving from Pewaukee to the Village and expects to open in the next few weeks.
Brookfield Economic Development Administrator Tim Casey says that the city is pleased with the progress that the Village area has made since it and Brookfield Village, Ltd.,set out to rejuvenate the area in late 2013.
“It’s very encouraging. What we’re finding is that when we walk around the Village and tell them all the things that are going on, it’s really selling itself,” Casey said. “People can see the momentum. They understand what the plans are for additional development and for the bike trail that is coming.”
Two of the new business’ owners concurred with Casey on why they chose the Village.
“When we saw this space on Brookfield Road, we felt it was perfect to display our line of spinners and other products in a very visible manner,” Gift Shoppe owner Judy Carlin said in a statement. “As we learned about all of the plans in the Village area and the sense of community, we jumped on this opportunity.”
Petals Floral Design owner Carrie Kroening attended one of the Village’s monthly meetings and was very impressed with what she learned and heard.
“Hearing about the plans for the area and all the events, you really feel the sense of community that is growing here,” Kroening said in a statement. “To feel like you’re a part of something and have people welcome you with open arms is not something you expect. It made me feel very good about our new location.”
The city hopes to continue developing buildings that fit the architectural style and feel of the Village area and it is also looking forward to working with Waukesha County in installing the Fox River Trail, which will be built in 2016 and ’17.
The trail will connect the Village area at Brookfield Road and Riverview Drive to Frame Park in downtown Waukesha.
“We’ve all seen how much people are walking and running and biking these days and it’s just going to be a great opportunity for people to come to the Village,” Casey said. “It will be easy for residents of Waukesha to get on their bikes and come to our Village and vice versa.”
The Fox River Trail is still a few years out; however, Casey says that he is already surprised by the progress that the area has made in a short period of time.
“We’ve only been at this for a little over a year in terms of having a formal organization to work with, and I think things are moving more quickly than we might have imagined,” Casey said. “I think the Hoffman Avenue parking lot has been a good part of that. Obviously employees need a place to park, customers need a place to park, and it hosts our farmers market.”
Moving forward, the city hopes to continue development and rejuvenation for the Village, but at the same time, officials recognize that they may want to be wary in making sure that the neighborhood maintains its unique, small-town feel.
“Plans really lay out what’s important in terms of buildings and historical look and feel which need to be saved,” Casey said. “The feel of the Village area and the scale is something that we need to retain.”