The buyer of a church property in the Hollywood section of Brookfield says he’ll likely demolish the building to make way for new residential construction some time in the future.
Michael and Loretta Glazik, who live just down the block from the church, bought the former First Presbyterian Church of Brookfield property at 3545 McCormick Ave. on Oct. 31, 2011 for $135,000, according to records obtained from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.
“To tell the truth, I’m not really sure what we’re going to do,” said Michael Glazik in an interview with the Landmark last week. “I think we’re going to take it down and turn it into two lots.
“I’m getting quotes for demolition and there’ll be some asbestos removal,” he added. “Then I’ll either hold the lots or try to sell them.”
The property at the northeast corner of McCormick and Parkview avenues comprises two 60-by-152-foot lots, which are zoned for single-family residential use. The church property and its adjacent parsonage at 8540 Parkview Ave. were put on the market in July 2009 when the church’s congregation decided to merge with a North Riverside church.
When the members of First Presbyterian Church decided to sell the property, the congregation had just 12 active members, according to the Rev. Caryle Aitken Wilkie, who was pastor at the time. The entire 120-by-283-foot parcel listed initially for $800,000.
The parsonage property, which included a split-level home, an attached garage and the small church parking lot, sold in 2010 for $210,000.
What convinced the congregation to move on was a devastating flood in the basement in September 2008 during a historic rain event that month. The basement filled with four feet of sewage, which remained there for a week, Wilkie told the Landmark in 2009.
It was the history of flooding that finally convinced Glazik to seek demolition of the church building rather than to remodel it and turn it into a unique single-family home. The basement level is 10 feet deep, Glazik said.
“If not for the water problem, I’d convert it into a house,” said Glazik. “But I was concerned. I’d hate to convert it and have that issue come up.”
Glazik said he’s thought about buying the property since it went up for sale and that “a few years back I probably would’ve spent a lot more.”
Whether the Glaziks end up developing the property or someone else does remains to be seen.
“I’ve given some thought to putting a house on it, but I’m not sure,” Glazik said. “Only time will tell.”