The first apartment building to be constructed in Brookfield in many years could break ground early this fall.
On July 28, the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5 to 0 to recommend approval of a final planned development for a nine-unit apartment building at 8934 Fairview Ave., reviving a plan that had been in limbo for more than a year.
The developers, Michael Gatto, of Oak Brook-based Grossdale Properties, and Scott Sanders of Brookfield-based BrightLeaf Homes, are still waiting to obtain financing for the project.
Gatto said he’s already chosen a lender, but the construction financing won’t move forward unless the Brookfield Village Board approves the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation.
The village board likely will first discuss the recommendation at its Aug. 22 committee of the whole meeting. The matter could be up for a vote as early as Sept. 12.
Once the project is approved, Gatto said construction would be able to start “ASAP.”
The project recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission has been altered significantly since it received final approval by the village board back in May 2014.
One of the more notable changes was the addition of Sanders as a partner. A Brookfield resident and single-family home developer, Sanders’ work prominently features sustainable design.
This would be the first multi-unit project for Sanders, and his influence can be seen in the final design, which features energy-efficient materials, including a roof that will be able to support solar panels if there’s a desire to add them in the future.
The building’s final design is also more contemporary looking than the original, rather severe three-story brick design. A recessed central stair tower of charcoal gray brick is flanked on either side by three-story wings clad in a brick red cement lap siding with bands of lighter gray cement board panels marking the central entrance. Units will have balconies that feature metal railings and cedar detailing.
Another prominent change in the design, and one that planning commissioners insisted upon, was moving the building closer to the front property line. That eliminated a parking lot in front of the building and located all of the parking spaces behind the building.
The requirement also reduced the number of parking spaces available to tenants from 14 to nine, but because of its location near a commuter train station, planning commissioners said they were OK with the reduction in parking.
“This is the planning process and I think it’s worked extremely well in this instance, especially bringing the building up front,” said Commissioner Patrick Benjamin. “By and large, I think we’re there.”
Benjamin, however, indicated that because the only parking lot was now in the rear of the building, the developer ought to work with the village to find a way to get the alley behind the apartment building paved.
Village Planner Emily Egan said that cost estimates put paving the east-west portion of the alley at about $40,000, not including design engineering and legal fees. Paving the alley is not a condition for approving the development.
After the meeting, Gatto said he would need more information about introducing the cost of alley paving into the project.
“We’d need to discuss what impact it has on the project in terms of valuation,” said Gatto, who estimated that paving the alley represented about 8 percent of the total cost of the building by itself. “It might be hard to do on the front end [of the construction process]. We definitely need to discuss it.“