Located just outside of Milwaukee, in Brookfield, Wisconsin, The Corners of Brookfield is a 400,000 square-foot, open-air town center with premier retail and dining, 244 luxury residences and a central market square. A joint project by IM Properties and Bradford Real Estate, the development opened in April 2017 after several years of construction.
In its planning stages, IM Properties and Bradford Real Estate sought a partner that could deliver visual solutions across the entire property, from wayfinding markers to LED lighting and large format, innovative digital signage.
The developers also wanted to find a partner that would join them in convincing the Town of Brookfield that digital signage planned for the property would not cause a disturbance or be a nuisance to the property’s neighbors. Daily 199,000 cars drive by The Corners, and nearly 6,000 businesses are located within a 6-mile radius.
After searching for a partner who could brand the property, IM Properties and Bradford Real Estate chose Gable for its comprehensive capabilities and proven experience developing, managing and delivering creative solutions for large commercial developments across the United States. Gable was also chosen for its ability to be more than a vendor, assisting developers as an on-the-ground advocate and consultant during Town meetings, and throughout the planning and permitting process.
Project Specifics (Phase I)
Gable joined developers of The Corners early in the planning stages of the development. Logo, branding and the initial design concept package for the property were originally created by DDG, a Baltimore-based architectural firm. Gable used that initial brand package as inspiration in the creative development of additional, significant landmark signage and architectural elements, including the large freestanding digital pylon signs, custom RGB smart lighting, and a unique folding digital display.
After substantial conceptual work by Gable’s creative team and consulting with IM Properties to finalize the signage plan for the development, Gable joined the developer to present that plan to the community at several Town Council meetings. The direct material support to the client included various concept drawings, animated renderings, multiple traffic safety studies, sample content, and detailed use guidelines that would later be incorporated as the “Digital Content Conduct Policy”, an exhibit to the Special Use Permit issued by The Town of Brookfield.
As the first mixed-use property of its kind in the area, The Corners required the Town of Brookfield to revise zoning code and buy-in to the idea of enhancing the property with visual solutions like digital displays and LED lighting that were a new concept in Brookfield.
Gable and developers earned the trust and approval of community members by working with them, educating the public about the functionality of the visual solutions planned for the property and answering questions at Town meetings. Gable worked with developers to make sure they would be able to use digital signage around the property as a communication tool to display town news, weather warnings, and other community notifications. Gable also helped developers address community concerns about the brightness of planned digital pieces.
With Gable’s help, developers persuaded community members that the visual solutions planned for the project would serve the community well. With the community’s backing, they were granted the right to move forward with the project.
Phase I of construction, which was completed on April 1, 2017, included hundreds of products designed and delivered by Gable. From vinyl graphics on doors throughout the property to a 60-foot tall freestanding identity sign that includes a digital display measuring 21 feet wide by 37 feet tall, Gable served as the primary provider of visual solutions across the property.
Solutions provided by Gable for Phase I of The Corners of Brookfield include:
- Digital Signage:
- A 60-foot tall freestanding identity pylon sign featuring a high brightness 16mm resolution display measuring 21 feet wide by 37 feet tall
- A 35-foot tall identity pylon sign on West Bluemound Road that features a high brightness 16mm resolution digital display measuring nearly 12 feet wide by 21 feet tall
- A digital print graphic and RGB lighting along an archway at the parking garage located at the main entrance to The Corners from Bluemound Road, visible as drivers approach the parking garage entrance
- Programmable RGB smart lighting along the property’s 2-deck parking garage, visible from Route 94
- Static Signage:
- Eight 10-foot by 10-foot light box displays with LED backlighting, inside The Corners parking garage main entrance off Bluemound Road
- Decorative static architectural panels with channel letters that identify “Market Square Zone D” on four sides, inside the property’s main parking garage. Channel letters span 33 feet on the north and south sides, and 44 feet on the east and west sides
- A secondary monument sign with a 20-foot wide footprint, outside of the parking garage along Bluemound Road
- Channel letters for the front awnings of The Corners’ two apartment buildings, named Dempsey Place and Garrison Court, set to open in late 2017
- Traditional Signage:
- Nine backlit wayfinding monuments
- 82 overhead hanging vehicular directional signs and numerous parking zone identification signs
- Countless pole banners, offering valuable branding space for The Corners
- Department of Transportation signs including street signs, stop signs and speed limit signs, pole banners throughout the property, and parking garage directional signs
Project Specifics (Phase II)
Phase II of construction at The Corners of Brookfield, completed in summer 2017, included several key contributions by Gable.
In Market Square, Gable installed a 20-foot wide, four-sided expandable digital display that provides property owners the ability to create a cube that displays four different advertisements, or fold out the screen to form one large display. Gable created this innovative expandable digital display, which is ideal for engaging local foot traffic with events such as a movie or sporting event, like a Green Bay Packers game while maintaining visibility of a major retailer.
Gable also installed six digital wayfinding directories. Three directories are double-sided, freestanding directories offering rotating advertising and ultrasonic motion sensors that detect movement switching to a static map when people are near. Three are single-sided, wall mounted directories with the same intelligent sensors. Also in Phase II, Gable installed a 50-feet wide radius campus identification monument sign.
Days before The Corners grand opening, Fox6 in Milwaukee reported: “With online shopping options abundant, The Corners of Brookfield offers more than just shopping. It’s an experience from the moment you park.”
Gable worked with developers to create experiences like these across the property. Eight static digital displays placed as visitors enter the parking garage at Bluemound Road offer a vibrant display to create value and a first impression, opening an opportunity for advertising sales in a space often underutilized by real estate developers.
Though it is still in its “early days,” according to Robert Gould, VP of US Operations for IM Property Investments LLC, the 20-foot wide four-sided expandable digital display in Market Square has created a destination at the center of the development where community members congregate for town gatherings, concerts and events.
Gould said liquor sales are up three-fold since a restaurant near Market Square began offering outdoor liquor sales and seating, allowing patrons to sit outside and enjoy watching their favorite sports teams play on the enormous screen. Arhaus, an anchor tenant at the center of the development, more than doubled its opening day target and attributed increased sales in part to the visual experience provided at Market Square.
“There is no playbook for dropping a town center into a little corner of southeast Wisconsin in 2017,” said Gould. “We learn something every day. We test something new every day. One evening, I put a cartoon on the Market Square display and walked off. An hour later, I was surprised to find tons of kids transfixed by the display as their parents enjoyed a peaceful wait in line.”
The Town of Brookfield had never seen a mixed-use development like The Corners.
Working with Gable, IM Properties could rely on a trusted visual solutions provider as it worked to meet its deadline for an early April 2017 opening. Gable also teamed up with developers prior to installation to ensure the Town of Brookfield that the digital solutions the development planned to employ would enhance the community. The Corners of Brookfield uses digital signage throughout the property to display town news, weather warnings, and other notifications.
Of course, nothing was as convincing as the day town and county officials visited the new development and saw the solutions for themselves.
“This is all so rewarding. When community members first visited the square, they were thrilled,” said Gould. “We are still in the early days and we have a long way to go. But the Town Council now understands that we have created a new space that can become the heart of this community.”
About The Corners of Brookfield: The Corners is a $220 million mixed-use lifestyle redevelopment project now under construction on West Bluemound Road in Brookfield, Wisc. In addition to 244 luxury apartments scheduled to open later this year, the lifestyle center features a variety of retailers, restaurants and entertainment options that opened in April 2017, creating a vibrant community and destination. Retailers at The Corners include Von Maur, L.L.Bean, Arhaus, Anthropologie, Café Hollander, Evereve, Francesca’s, Free People, lululemon athletica, Paper Source, Sendik’s, Twigs and Scout & Molly’s. For more information, visit www.thecornersofbrookfield.com.
About Gable: As an award-winning provider of digital displays, audiovisual and media; signs and architectural elements; and lighting solutions, Gable helps its clients attract, connect, engage, and direct people through effective visual communications. Based in Baltimore, MD, Gable is expanding the possibilities of how businesses communicate in the built world through its comprehensive capabilities, culture of creativity, knowledge of technology and forward-thinking visual solutions. To learn more about Gable, visit www.gablecompany.com.