A Brookfield businesswoman has begun to buy property along the 3400 block of Grand Boulevard, but is so far declining to say what she intends to do with the land.

On July 28, Linda Sokol Francis, under the name God’s Will LLC, purchased six lots on the west side of the street. The lots include two single-family homes at 3424 and 3434 Grand Blvd., for which demolition permits have been granted.

“Really, at this point, there’s not much of a story,” said Francis, who owns Brookfield Financial Plans Inc. at 3439 Grand Blvd., across the street from the properties she has purchased.

Francis said she is in the process of purchasing other properties on the block, though she did not specify which ones. She has, however, expressed interest in buying the Teamsters union building directly south of 3434 Grand Blvd., according to James Glimco, president of Teamsters Local 777.

“I have been contacted by Linda Sokol Francis,” Glimco said. “She has indicated that she is going to close on the building to the south [of the union office] and then talk to us about selling our building.”

Glimco said that the union office at 3436-38 Grand Blvd. is listed for sale at $349,000.

“If she comes up with the money, we’d be willing to sell it,” Glimco said. “It’d be nice to put all those parcels together to build something nice for Brookfield. I think it’s a prime location, and I wish her the best.”

Directly south of the union offices is a large corner parcel consisting of an office building at the corner of Grand Boulevard and Broadway Avenue, a parking lot and five vacant lots.

The corner property at 3452 Grand Blvd. has been on and off the market for the past couple of years, said listing agent Joel Klecka of Coldwell Banker. The listing price for the building and parking lot is $565,000. The vacant parcels between the parking lot and union office are listed at $313,000.

Klecka confirmed that the property is under contract to be sold, but said he could not disclose the name of the person who has contracted to buy it.

God’s Will LLC purchased both 3424 and 3434 Grand Blvd. from the Cook County Public Guardian on July 28 for a total of $320,000, according to records obtained from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

The Illinois Secretary of State lists Francis and three others, including John Sokol, Nancy Lisowski and Karl Sokol, as officers of the company. The Rev. Karl Sokol, Francis’ son, is pastor of Franklin Grove United Methodist Church in north central Illinois.

In June, prior to the sale of the homes, they were declared “unfit for human occupancy” by the Brookfield building department due to “extreme accumulation of rubbish and garbage in both houses.”

The village told Sokol at the time that if she bought the homes, she could either bring them into compliance or have them demolished.

On Aug. 19, Francis submitted demolition permit applications for both homes. Cook County approved the demolition permits, which were valid as of Sept. 16.

On file with the village’s building department is also a letter dated Aug. 28 from Francis, stating that she intended to buy the union hall south of 3434 Grand Blvd.

Goodbye to a Grossdale original

When the wreckers come to take down the house at 3424 Grand Blvd. in Brookfield, they’ll be knocking over a piece of early Brookfield history. The house is one of the oldest in the village, built around 1890.

Brookfield historian Chris Stach reported in a piece in the Landmark last week that the village’s founder, S.E. Gross, bought a second section of land in 1889 after his initial 1888 Grossdale subdivision (south of Washington Avenue) proved to be a successful venture.

He bought land bordered by what is now 31st Street to the north, Washington to the south, Kemman on the west and Maple on the east.

In 1968, the Brookfield Enterprise newspaper interviewed Jessie (Gerhardt) Jeter, whose father, Frank, came to Grossdale in 1890, following Gross’ brass band as it led prospective land buyers down Grand Boulevard from the train station.

Frank Gerhardt chose the lot at 3424 to build the family home, and may have, as Stach suggests, had a hand in the actual construction. In 1894, Stach states, Gerhardt was listed in the village directory as a “contractor and builder” and he was one Grossdale’s earliest elected trustees.