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Proposed Brookfield Convention Center Draws Developer Interest

A new report says construction of a $21 million center would add nearly $275,000 annually to city revenues and nearly $350,000 in state sales taxes.

The addition of a convention center proposed by Brookfield officials as a way to boost the city's economy would generate about $275,000 in increased annual revenue for the city, a new report says.

A city study of the potential new 44,200-square-foot convention center near Brookfield Square mall or at the former Ruby Farms property at Calhoun Road has drawn interest by developers, said Tim Casey, Brookfield's economic development coordinator. The building could cost at least $21 million and would also generate nearly $350,000 in annual state sales taxes, according to a report.

"We have at least one developer interested and we have others who have inquired," Casey told the city's Economic Development Commission. One developer is interested in proposing a larger mixed-use project that could include a hotel and conference center, he said.

Based on interest by the Brookfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, the city jointly funded a feasibility study by a Chicago-based consultant HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment. In a 121-page report released in October, HVS said building a medium-sized convention center would allow Brookfield to successfully compete for state and local association meetings local hotels can not currently accommodate.

HVS estimated a "high-end" Brookfield center could attract about 250 events and about 81,000 guests a year — but it would cost between $21.8 million and $30.2 million. With contingency, insurance, fees and other related costs, the total development costs could be around $27.2 million to $37.6 million.

On Monday, a second study was released, an economic impact analysis by Springsted Inc. of Milwaukee.

Springsted said by 2018 a center would generate $274,668 in increased annual property and room tax revenue for the city, plus $348,327 in state sales taxes.

Assumptions in the analysis included an increase in the city's room tax rate from the current 8 percent to 9.5 percent, an average nightly hotel rate of $125 and a $21 million building value.

Adding a conference center would generate about 13,200 new room nights to Brookfield's hotel market, which is the third largest cluster in the area, behind only downtown Milwaukee and the area around General Mitchell Airport.

Even the largest convention centers in Chicago and New Orleans only generate about 10 percent more hotel stays, said Casey and Nancy Justman, executive director of the Brookfield visitors' bureau.

"The conference center will generate some rooms, but it's more about the economic development," Justman said.

PROJECTED CITY REVENUE


2015 2016 2017 2018 Property taxes from conference center $114,450 $115,595 $116,750 $117,918 Increased room taxes $93,813 $127,063 $147,250 $156,750 TOTAL ESTIMATED REVENUE $208,263 $242,657 $264,000 $274,668




PROJECTED STATE REVENUE


2015 2016 2017 2018 Sales spending taxes $162,601 $216,205 $251,758 $265,737 Sales hotel taxes $49,375 $66,875 $77,500 $82,500 TOTAL ESTIMATED REVENUE $211,976 $283,080 $329,258 $348,237 Source: Springsted Incorporated — Gross Benefits Economic Impact Analysis
John December 05, 2012 at 01:20 PM
This is a waste of money - government should stay away from these ventures. Ongoing maintenance and endless subsidies will out weigh any benefits. Maybe we should put in light rail as well.
ER December 05, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I agree - this is not the time to be building a convention center when there are a glut of hotels and other convention centers across the state that are not full - look at the Delta Center or Monona Terrace - I don't think their schedules are full. I work in the trade show industry - if they have better options, why would they come to Brookfield?
DICK STEINBERG December 06, 2012 at 01:11 AM
again, the city staff has nothing else to do so they want to stick us with more expenses for fire and police protection, more traffic and a promise akin to "chicken little". why even print this stuff when it would never pass a referendum vote. developers are in business to make money for themselves and save none for the taxpayers. How about reducing some rents and fill up vacant buildings.
DICK STEINBERG December 06, 2012 at 01:12 AM
how much of our money did the studies cost ?

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