Brookfield officials have all but struck their first deal to provide an incentive to a developer in order to open a new retail sales business in the Ogden Avenue Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District.
The deal hasn’t been approved officially by the village, but a draft redevelopment agreement for the property at the corner of Ogden and Eberly avenues was made public on June 18. The village may field alternative redevelopment proposals until 3 p.m. on July 7, according to a legal notice publish in the Landmark last week.
Brookfield Village President Kit Ketchmark said that unless the village receives competing proposals — something that appears unlikely — the agreement with Vernick will be approved at the village board’s July 14 meeting.
“We’re taking away a piece of property that’s been vacant for about 15 years, so that’s a good thing,” said Ketchmark.
The Ogden and Eberly property was obtained by the village in 2004 through Cook County’s no-cash bid process. Decades ago the property housed a car dealership and later a tire store.
The building on the site was demolished in 2007 and the village undertook an effort to clean up the site, which was contaminated by petroleum products. According to Ketchmark, the village received a no-interest loan of about $240,000 from the state to clean up the site. If the village sold the land for cash, it would have had to pay back the loan.
Ketchmark said that Vernick approached Brookfield about the property approximately two months ago.
“This particular development has been on the fast track,” said Ketchmark.
The deal on the table calls for the village to convey the former Lucas Tire property at 9540 Ogden Ave. to Chicago-based Vernick and Associates Ltd., a real estate tenant representation and development firm, at no cost in exchange for them building a 3,500-square-foot Sherwin Williams paint store on the property.
In addition to handing over the land to Vernick as an incentive, the village has also pledged to waive building-permit fees and charges for plan review. The village has also pledged to cover the cost of relocating a fire hydrant at the corner of Eberly and Ogden.
In exchange for getting the land for free, Vernick pledges that no portion of the development will be occupied by a non-sales tax producing business. They also must secure a lease of at least five years with their tenant, and neither they nor the tenant can appeal the property tax assessment for a period of five years.
“Part of our policy is that we want sales-tax-producing businesses on Ogden Avenue. We’re not just trying to fill up a building,” said Ketchmark. “Right now, we’ve got a proposal on the table that we’re pretty happy with.”
Assuming the village doesn’t receive any alternate proposals by July 7, Vernick must apply for building permits on or before Jan. 2, 2015 and must complete the project on or before Jan. 1, 2016.
Once building permits are obtained by the developer, construction must start within 60 days, according to the agreement.
And once the store is constructed, Brookfield will have a property that is not only producing sales taxes but will also begin pumping money into the Ogden Avenue TIF. Combined with Advance Auto Parts, which is being built at 9310 Ogden Ave., and the opening of a Pita Pit franchise in the vacant building next to Dunkin Donuts (which was itself recently rebuilt), officials expect the Ogden Avenue TIF to begin producing a meaningful cash increment.
“To have three national chains open on Ogden over a year, I think that’s a good start for us,” said Ketchmark. “We’re excited about it.”
Village Manager Riccardo Ginex said the new businesses will provide a way for Brookfield to perhaps purchase additional long-vacant or underperforming properties within the TIF district.
“It’s going to be a huge increment for our TIF,” said Village Manager Riccardo Ginex of the Sherwin Williams store. “Putting those taxes to use would help us accumulate other parcels.”
In addition to the Ogden/Eberly property, Brookfield has acquired two other parcels in the immediate vicinity — the former Brookfield Moose property at 4000 DuBois Ave. and a residential property on Blanchan Avenue.
Other key parcels for sale on Ogden Avenue include at least two adjacent properties on the northwest corner of Ogden and Prairie avenues. The former Nino’s Buona Cucina restaurant property at 9237 Ogden Ave. reportedly is under contract to an unknown buyer.