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City of Brookfield relocating train depot across the street

Posted: 7:26 PM, Oct 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-19 00:26:09Z

The City of Brookfield is moving its second oldest building in the city across the street.

The plan is to physically uproot the historic train depot from between two active railways and place it on the other side of the street. This will cost around $1.3 million.

To kick off the project, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, WEDC, is giving the city a $25,000 grant. 

WEDC's CEO and Secretary Mark Hogan says the grant is part of a larger program that started back in 2013. Brookfield is one of 65 other communities that have received 108 grants, leading them to generate over $300 million dollars in capital. 

"From an investment standpoint, we look at these types of projects as quality of life," said Hogan. "That's important to the state."

Brookfield Mayor Steven Ponto says the city has been doing revitalization projects for the last 15 years. By moving depot, it continues to grow the city while keeping its history. 

"In the place that [the depot] is right now, it hasn't been used for many years," said Ponto. "It's really a hazard and the Canadian Pacific Railroad was likely to tear it down."

Moving the depot won't be the only change. The historic structure will then be re-purposed into a Fiddleheads Coffee shop and the trailhead for the Waukesha County bike trail.

The mayor notes this project is expected to create about 12 to 15 part-time and full-time jobs. 

Wisconsin native Dawn Condon says she moved to Brookfield seven years ago and wanted to see the city thrive. Condon says she became a volunteer to help revitalize the city. 

"This is just the icing on the cake," she said. "We've been working so hard. I just can't wait until it's complete and we can actually travel up there to get a cup of coffee."

Condon says she can remember her mother picking up packages from the train depot when she was a little girl. She thinks the village is headed in a great direction.

Construction for the historic train depot is expected to start next year.