Improved Parking Experience at The Corners of Brookfield


Improved Parking Experience at The Corners of Brookfield

Located just 15 miles west of Milwaukee, the town of Brookfield has worked to be all things to the community: a beautiful place to raise a family, a safe place to work, a town with quality restaurants and good shopping. With urban sprawl happening everywhere, this was no small task when it came to attracting developers, businesses, and residents to live and work in the same community. 

However, it was the perfect setting for UK based IM properties to develop The Corners of Brookfield, a 400,000 square-foot, open-air mixed use town center featuring high-end national and local retailers, dining establishments, luxury residential living space and a central market square. Modern in every way, it has a small town feel in a big city setting. Even better, the concept is wrapped around a covered parking structure that offers a state-of-the art parking experience and protection from the harsh Wisconsin elements. Add in the safety and convenience factors, and you are never parked too far away from your favorite shops and restaurants. 

Robert Gould, Vice President at IM Property Investments (USA) LLC, wanted to set a high standard for the mixed-use complex in every way possible and in his mind, this should happen before guests or tenants step out of their vehicles. So, what exactly does a does a top-tier parking structure look like? “It’s well-lit, in this case, the brightness is four times the minimum standard lighting for a garage, so there are no dark areas. It also features 22 ft. high ceilings, that deliver an air of openness and high visibility so our guests can easily see interior store entryways and stairs,” stated Gould. 

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.”


Parking Guidance System a Treat for Guests

To further enhance the parking experience, Gould and his team believed it was the right time to install a parking guidance system “We took our time evaluating several different systems. We ultimately made our selection for its robust design, ease of use and system accuracy. With the system’s record of minimal maintenance requirements in total system functionality, we knew we would spend less time fixing it and more time learning how to optimize it,” said Tom Kafkes, Technical & Project Delivery Director at IM Property Investments USA. 

Houston, Texas based Parking Guidance Systems, LLC (PGS) was awarded the contract to design and install the system. “They understood our vision and developed a plan to match the grand plan for the complex,” added Kafkes. With more than 30 years of combined experience in the parking industry, PGS works directly with its clients to help create a smoother and faster parking experience while helping increase space utilization, improve safety, and boost revenue. The Corners of Brookfield project was a perfect example of how versatile the system is. “After reviewing their master plan, we were able to tailor a complete guidance system to meet all their needs,” said Derek Frantz, Vice President of Business Development for PGS. 

Inside the parking structure, the wayfinding signage features much larger LED digits to account for the higher ceilings. They were also painted to match the color scheme. The LED space indicators had extended LED indicators so they hung low enough for the parking customers to see them as they pulled into the garage.

 PGS also installed 1,200 single space sensors on the lower level, with an additional 700 to the upper levels. “The beauty of these single space sensors is that they can be tailored to indicate what type of parking is available and for which customer segment. That means shoppers, residents, employees, and special needs spaces are assigned by color, such as green for a general open space, red for occupied, blue for ADA, purple for resident, and so on,” said Frantz. “All of this is synced up and can be clearly communicated on a matrix sign at the entrance of the parking garage that not only shows the zones, but available spaces, in real-time.”

To promote the user-friendly mixed-use facility, 34 oversized matrix signs were strategically located throughout the property. The large, customized message signs featured bright, high-quality LED digits that can be easily read day or night. Messaging varied from parking availability and directional arrows, to specific retailer information. 

As an added touch, IM properties added a surface lot parking detection system, INDECT Views, to its outdoor parking areas. “This is a camera detection system featuring a fisheye camera installed on their light poles. Each camera monitors an allocated section in the lot, then communicates via WIFI to evaluate parking space status,” added Frantz. “The number of available spaces appears on a sign at the lot entrance and on smaller pillar signs before each row.” Whether it is installed on the ground level or on a rooftop, guests can quickly determine whether parking is available. 


Adjusting for Covid-19 

Behind the scenes at The Corners, the system’s versatility and functionality allow the parking management to continuously adapt and adjust parking based on traffic patterns, guest, and tenant usage. Since The Corners revolves around living, working, shopping, entertainment and dining, its flexibility in parking guidance benefits all those who utilize this center for whatever their needs may be. 

During a time when people are restricted by Covid-19 regulations, and customer activities are limited, businesses must rethink how they keep clients coming back. Many customers order food or other items online to either be delivered or picked up curbside. To make the best use of analytics studied by the team monitoring the parking guidance system in the garage and street level, the facility designates specific parking areas for 15-minute parking and can then monitor the success and usage of those spots, to dictate if less, more or different locations are needed. 

Cassandra Suro, Operations Manager for The Corners of Brookfield, works with a team behind the scenes and studies analytics based on time of day and length of stay in parts of the parking garage. The results of this information have become an integral part of how decisions are made to help customers or tenants get the most out of their parking experience. During peak hours of dining or curbside pickup dining, for example, analytics dictates that more designated areas are needed for short-term parking in certain locations near restaurants to keep the flow of traffic moving more efficiently. A color-coded system was developed based on this information to easily guide drivers to designated areas with their intended purpose clearly indicated. 

Monitoring Analytics, Measuring Success

“Under ‘normal’ circumstances, tenants in the apartments would usually not be home during business hours and more vacancies would be left for alternative use parking. However, during the past 10 months, many people have been working from their homes and therefore those spots have stayed filled,” said Suro. 

Likewise, during busy shopping or holiday seasons, signs and lighting can help drive traffic to alternate areas of the shopping center when certain areas are full. This system helps ease congestion and frustrating trips up and down aisles searching for open parking when there is none. “At any given time, we know how many spaces are available, where those open spaces are and how many cars are parked on the property. That is powerful stuff,” Suro added. With so many options available to The Corners of Brookfield on how to guide customers and tenants and to be flexible in case a situation might come up where they need to control the flow of traffic to ease congestion, the system was a valuable addition to the complex. It gives the customers the high-end experience they deserve and IM Property Investments the tools and intelligence to ensure maximum usage, a pleasing parking experience, and minimal complaints. “I believe that’s what you call a win, win,” concluded Gould. 

Kit Jones is a Freelance Industry Writer. He can be reached at

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