I have just read the front page article regarding the Brookfield library board’s decision to sell the property at 3507 Arden Ave. in Brookfield after less than five months of ownership in a sealed bid auction (“Brookfield Library puts Arden home up for sale,” News, Dec. 26).
I am so frustrated with the board making one bad decision after another that I would like to propose an alternative solution.
I think most people are aware that the real estate market is in one of its worst declines in the past 20 years, and I find it laughable that the Brookfield library board has decided to put the Arden property up for sale less than five months after purchase. The library board has reportedly spent $7,500 in cosmetic touches in paint and carpeting which they will not see a positive return on investment.
The minimum seal bid for $410,000 is a joke. I believe the best that the library would be able to get for the property in today’s market would be $330,000 to $350,000. That would give the library board and the residents of Brookfield a negative 13 to 18 percent return on investment.
I think that the library board would probably see a positive return on their investment if they continued to pursue the purchase of the properties at 3501 Arden Ave. and 8625 Washington Ave., perhaps in partnership with a developer. These three lots combined would be 120-by-324.8 feet.
Then these lots could be subdivided into five lots that all front Washington Avenue, with 64.96-by-120-foot lot sizes (7,795 square feet each) which would meet Brookfield zoning requirements for new construction on vacant land.
It was made obvious from previous library board meetings that the owners of the two aforementioned properties were very interested in selling to the library, so it should be relatively simple to close these deals.
With five legally conforming properties on Washington Avenue, which is already zoned for detached single-family homes, a developer could come in and build five new homes ready for occupancy by the summer of 2009, which is most likely when the real estate market will hit bottom and properties will begin moving again.
The initial land purchase cost should be under $1 million, with demolition of the existing buildings under $60,000. A builder could build each new home for less than $250,000 for better-than-average to upscale construction. After land and construction costs, the contractor could market the homes for $500,000-plus each and easily turn $50,000 profit on each home.
I think the residents of the Brookfield agree that the Hollywood section of Brookfield should remain single-family, detached residential. Also, with five new homes on Washington Avenue with estimated sale prices of $500,000-plus, the village would see a healthy increase in property tax revenues in contrast to the existing three homes. The tax revenue increase would provide additional revenue for the ever-expanding budget demands of the village.
Mike Buczkowski lives in Brookfield