The Brookfield Village Board on July 14 voted unanimously to approve a redevelopment agreement that will bring a Sherwin Williams retail paint store to the corner of Ogden and Eberly avenues.
The deal follows months of negotiations by the village and the developer, Kevin Vernick of Vernick and Associates Ltd., a Chicago-based tenant representation and real estate development company.
According to Keith Sbiral, the village’s assistant manager and director of building and planning, Sherwin Williams is already working with the village on developing a site plan for zoning review.
“They’re aiming for a fall groundbreaking,” said Sbiral at a meeting of the village board’s planning, zoning and economic development committee on July 17, “hopefully in September.”
The board decision on July 14 followed an hour-long meeting in executive session, during which trustees and the village president discussed a second proposal for the Ogden and Eberly property, submitted July 7 by the owner of Paisan’s Pizza, Pete Fejzuloski.
Fejzuloski’s proposal called for his company to build a one-story, 5,000-quare-foot restaurant, similar in character to the one Fejzuloski built on Ogden Avenue in Berwyn. Fejzuloski has changed Paisan’s business model, opting for larger, more upscale sit-down restaurants with expanded menu offerings in favor of the pizza parlor model the company has had for three decades.
Paisan’s is preparing to build a restaurant similar to the Berwyn location in Lisle.
“What we want to do is expand on Ogden Avenue, which gives us more exposure,” Fejzuloski told the Landmark in an interview on Monday. “We want to kind of mimic what we have in Berwyn, to offer our customers a better variety of food. With the Berwyn store, we’ve stepped it up to a different level.”
The Paisan’s proposal, a two-page document that included a tentative site plan and building elevation, called for Fejzuloski to purchase the Ogden and Eberly property for $10,000.
However, Brookfield trustees opted for Sherwin Williams, calling it a better fit for the property.
“The numbers show this is a good investment moving forward for us,” said Trustee Michael Garvey. “There is potential for large-scale development in this area. I think it’s an excellent idea to bring another national franchise to Ogden Avenue.”
The Sherwin Williams deal also was a fully formed plan, one that guaranteed a sales tax-generating business on the site and one that called for no TIF incentives other than conveying the property to the developer for $10 and waiving building permit fees. The agreement also calls for the village to have a permanent easement on the corner of the property for a village entrance sign.
“The message being sent to developers is that Brookfield is indeed open for business,’ said Trustee Ryan Evans. “This is another example of a developer moving through a process.”
A tentative site plan for the Sherwin Williams project indicates that a 3,500-square-foot store would be built on the eastern end of the property with a parking lot accommodating 26 vehicles.
While Brookfield chose Sherwin Williams over Paisan’s for the Ogden and Eberly site, officials said that a deal to relocate Paisan’s to another location on Ogden was still a possibility.
A day after the village board vote on Sherwin Williams, Sbiral and Village President Kit Ketchmark reportedly met with Fejzuloski.
“We want to encourage him to consider another development site,” said Sbiral.
Ketchmark said the village is preparing information on other potential redevelopment sites on Ogden for Fejzuloski.
“Pete is anxious to do something, so we’re seeing what we can do to help him out,” Ketchmark said.
One obvious site for possible redevelopment is the north side of Ogden Avenue between Prairie and Vernon avenues, where all of the parcels in that area are for sale. The property also has depth that other parcels on Ogden lack.
The problem with that site, said Fejzuloski, is that it would cost a lot of money to purchase the land, an expense that might make such a deal improbable.
“If I spend a ton of money on property, it’s not worth it, because it would take a lot of time to get that investment back,” Fejzuloski said.
In Berwyn, Fejzuloski received about $800,000 in TIF funds from the city for land acquisition and construction costs related to the company’s 20,000-square-foot restaurant at 6229 Ogden Ave.
While the Prairie and Ogden site falls within Brookfield’s Ogden Avenue TIF District, the TIF district has not generated much in the way of an increment to help provide the kind of incentive Fejzuloski got in Berwyn.
“When we did the Berwyn store we got a good chunk of money from the TIF, which helped us out,” said Fejzuloski. “That’s why we wanted to move to the Sherwin Williams spot. That would’ve been good, because there would not have been a huge investment on property.”