Just under 34,000 square feet of residential property is for sale in the heart of Brookfield’s Hollywood section. In a neighborhood otherwise completely built up, this listing means the opportunity for building as many as four more homes. What’s more, sale of the property would put it back on the tax rolls.

Last week, Failla Realty put the former First Presbyterian Church of Brookfield building, at 3545 McCormick Ave., and its adjacent parsonage at 8540 Parkway Ave. on the Multiple Listing Service. The asking price for the entire 120-by-283-foot property is $800,000.

The property sits on the northeast corner of McCormick and Parkway.

“We’re marketing it for residential development,” said listing agent Norine Torres. “If we had the land subdivided, I’d have sold all four lots already.”

Torres said she’s had several calls about the property, though the prospective buyers were only interested in single lots.

The church and parsonage property consists of three parcels. If it’s subdivided for building single-family homes, Torres said it could be divided into two 50-by-125-foot and two 78-by-120-foot lots. The property is zoned single-family residential.

While the real estate company could choose to subdivide the lot, Torres said that would require demolishing the church and parsonage, which would involve an additional cost to the firm.

“We’re not looking to subdivide it unless we absolutely have to,” Torres said.

According to Meena Beyers, village planner for Brookfield, three things could happen with the property. A church group could buy it and continue that use, which is grandfathered; someone could build four single-family homes there; or a developer could choose to present the village with a planned unit development, which could be residential or not.

“It depends on what someone brings forward,” Beyers said. “We aren’t encouraging anything either way. We’ll just have to see … what the interest is.”

Planned unit developments involve a lengthy process that includes at least two hearings in front of the village Plan Commission and the village board, which has final say on any such development.

On the other hand, if someone wants to build single-family homes and there is no need for a zoning variance, they could be constructed without a formal plan review. The only involvement of the village board in that case would be subdivision of the property, which Brookfield trustees would have to approve.

Church merging with
North Riverside congregation

The church property is available because the congregation is in the process of merging with North Riverside Community Presbyterian Church.

According to Caryle Aitken Wilkie, who has been pastor for both congregations since Sept. 1, the Brookfield church suffered what she called a catastrophe on Sept. 14, when the area was deluged by record rains.

A sump pump failed and the basement of the church, its fellowship hall, filled with four feet of sewage, which remained there for almost a week. The church eventually sanitized the building, but until Christmas Eve, the 12 active members of the Brookfield congregation worshipped in North Riverside. Eventually, the two congregations voted to merge.

Even together, the new congregation is a small one.

“On a good Sunday, we get 52 adults and 11 children,” Wilkie said.

The details are still being worked out, but this September the two congregations will be voting on a new name for the consolidated church, which will remain in North Riverside. “It’ll have a new name and a brand new mission,” Wilkie said. “It’s been a very emotional time for the folks at the Brookfield church.”