Another former corner pharmacy may be in line for redevelopment, this time in Brookfield. The old Fisher’s Drug Store property on the northwest corner of Grand Boulevard and Fairview Avenue, will be sold this week, according to the buyer, local developer David Hrizak.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but both Hrizak and current owner John J. Vrchota confirmed that a deal was in the works. Late last week both parties were cleaning out the property, which has been vacant since June 2003.
“We’re progressing forward with a potential sale,” Vrchota said.
In addition to acquiring the Fisher’s building, Hrizak also owns two other parcels in the 8900 block of Fairview Avenue. Two years ago, he purchased a rental property at 8928 Fairview Ave., and just last month his Burzak Investment Group bought three lots at 8932-36 Fairview Ave. from the Village of Brookfield for $324,000.
And although he does not yet own the property at 8922 Fairview Ave., as previously reported, Hrizak said that he has option contracts on that property as well as the building at 8916 Fairview Ave.
If Hrizak finalizes the sale of all those properties, he will have consolidated a significant parcel in the village’s downtown commercial district. In addition to a prominent corner location across from the Prairie Avenue train station, he will have approximately 400 feet of frontage along the 8900 block of Fairview, which is zoned for commercial use.
Hrizak said he wasn’t ready to release the plan, which is still being finalized. In past interviews, he has indicated that any plan for the block would be a mixed use commercial/high-density residential development.
That kind of development appears to be in line with the 2020 Master Plan adopted by the village earlier this year. The master plan calls for a mixed-use building of three to four stories at that corner site, although the master plan also includes reworking the streetscape so that the corner building would have frontages on Grand Boulevard and Brookfield Avenue. There’s no indication that Hrizak’s will call for such a dramatic reworking of the streetscape.
“It’s going to take a while to go through the permit process, probably a year or year-and-a-half,” Hrizak said. “Everything will stay as it is for that period of time.”
Vrchota has owned the old Fisher’s Pharmacy since the mid-1980s, when he bought the property and business from his boss, local legend Mylon Fisher. In addition to running the longest-lived pharmacy in the village, Fisher was also village president from 1977-81.
A drug store occupied that corner continuously from 1908 to 2003. Emil Pick opened a drug store in a frame building at the site in 1908, selling the business to J.M. and J.F. Corleto in 1920.
In 1926, Sumner Siebert purchased the property and in 1937 erected the current brick building.
Fisher purchased the business and property in 1945, and renamed it Fisher’s Pharmacy, a moniker Vrchota kept after buying the business. Fisher died in 1999 at the age of 82.
CVS Pharmacy on Ogden Avenue, which opened in 2003, purchased the prescription rights from Fisher’s and hired Vrchota as a pharmacist, ending the long-time drug store’s run in Brookfield. Vrchota has since left CVS. He now works for Cub Pharmacy in Downers Grove.
“I miss it immensely,” Vrchota said. “I miss all of the people. They were a loyal group of customers. I’m still in touch with a lot of those people. We knew everybody; it was a hometown thing.”