Beginning in about 2014, Brookfield began to see a flurry of home construction activity. Much of it, at first, was related to the high number of foreclosures the village experienced after the real estate crash, beginning in 2008 or so.
The newly renovated, and in several cases newly built, homes have fetched prices not seen before in the village. At least one new home has fetched $500,000, while an existing home sold recently for more than $600,000.
Now a new home builder in Brookfield, encouraged by those kinds of transactions, is building — at 4,550 square feet — what may be the largest single-family home in the village.
The projected price tag for the home — $800,000 — is certainly a brave new world.
“I think the market is coming back,” said Tom Frenkel, owner of DT Group, the south suburban home building company that is constructing the home at 8832 Congress Park Ave., next door to Lincoln School.
“I think this house is going to bring the community up,” Frenkel said. “It’s going to make a huge impact in Brookfield.”
It’ll certainly make an impact in the neighborhood, which is dotted with one-story ranch homes south of Congress Park and other older, modest homes to the north. While the style of the home’s exterior falls along traditional lines, it’s clearly much larger than its neighbors.
It’s not DT Group’s first project in Brookfield. The company’s work in the village stretches back a couple of years and includes renovation of several former foreclosures. One of the company’s projects, completed in 2014, sits immediately west of the new home being built on Congress Park Avenue.
The house is on the market for sale. DT Group has been renting the home since the renovation was completed.
The home is also not the first luxury residence DT Group has built. According to Frenkel, the company has built homes as large as 25,000 square feet in the far southwest suburbs. Frenkel is marketing the Brookfield house, he said, to people who might be looking in places like LaGrange but want a better value for the money.
“I’m trying to bring upper-scale people who don’t want to pay $1.5 million somewhere like LaGrange,” said Frenkel, who describes the house on Congress Park as a “smart house,” whose systems (everything from an all-house sound system, to the alarm system to the heating/cooling system) can be controlled via smartphone by voice commands.
The home will have four bedrooms and 4.5 baths, and an enormous kitchen with a family room that’s wired with a surround-sound audio system (a similar system is also in the master bedroom).
The master bathroom features LED lighting that changes with the temperature of the water coming out of the shower head, and a 35-by-12-foot deck overlooks a backyard that includes a separate 10-by-5-foot grilling/fire pit area.
The basement has a second kitchen, along with an office/exercise room and bathroom that includes a sauna.
But one of the more remarkable areas of the house is a mezzanine level dedicated completely to a home theater, complete with its own “lobby.” The theater, which will come outfitted, will have a 120-inch screen, LED lighting, a 1,200-watt sound system, and theater seating.
Frenkel said he expects the house to be complete by the end of 2016.
“I always like to take risks,” he said. “We bought in Brookfield when times were bad. Now I want to make a statement. I think Brookfield deserves this.”