The village of Brookfield is looking to add to the growing number of private properties it owns. On June 10, the village board voted unanimously to pass an ordinance requesting that the Brookfield Bowl property at 3415 Maple Ave. be obtained through the Cook County No Cash Bid Program.
The No Cash Bid Program, now in its 12th year, is an economic development incentive the county offers municipalities in order to help get tax-delinquent properties back on the tax rolls.
Brookfield Bowl, which was closed down by the village for good in February 2011, has been tax delinquent for years. The owners of the property failed to pay taxes beginning in 2008. For tax years 2009 and 2010 the taxes were forfeited, meaning the owners didn’t pay the taxes and no one bought the unpaid taxes at the county tax sale.
According to the Cook County Treasurer’s website, more than $100,000 in property taxes is delinquent on the property, which comprises three parcels just north of Eight Corners on Maple Avenue.
It could take up to a year for Brookfield to claim title to the property through the No Cash Bid Program, and the village may not know whether it has been successful in obtaining the property until the fall.
The June 10 vote authorized the village’s attorney to submit an application to the No Cash Bid Program. The county will submit the village’s bid at a scavenger sale, and if no one redeems the delinquent taxes, the county will transfer the purchase documents to the village. Brookfield will not have to pay the delinquent taxes and is likely to apply for the property to be tax-exempt until it is developed.
“The goal is to eventually redevelop the site,” said Keith Sbiral, Brookfield’s assistant village manager and director of building and planning.
The village may choose to demolish the property, something it has been reluctant to do prior to claiming title to it. The village has had the authority to have the bowling alley demolished since August 2011, when a judge signed an order to that effect. However, with bids ranging from $40,000 to $60,000 for demolition, the village has taken a pass to date.
Brookfield Bowl’s future has been up in the air since First National Bank of Brookfield began foreclosure proceedings in 2008. In September of 2010 during a routine inspection, an acoustical tile fell from the ceiling and struck a firefighter. Further inspection revealed that one of the building’s timber roof trusses had failed.
Since the fall of 2010, no one has tossed a ball down the wood lanes of the bowling alley. The bowling portion was secured with wooden posts, which shored up the roof. The bar remained open until February 2011, when the village shut down the business.
This will be the second time Brookfield has acquired property through the county’s program. In 2004, the village claimed title to the former Lucas Tire building at 9528-40 Ogden Ave. The building was demolished and still sits vacant.
Brookfield in the past two years has also purchased two other properties in that area, including the former Brookfield Moose lodge at 4000 Blanchan Ave. and a single-family home at 4006 Blanchan Ave.
That particular area has been identified by the village as a prime spot for commercial development in the future.