One of the managers of a firm that has served as the developer of record on Ogden Avenue for the village of Brookfield for the past year said last week that the firm is moving ahead with the first phase of a planned mixed-use development for the area around Ogden Avenue and DuBois Boulevard.
James Troutman, of the Chicago-based real estate firm Troutman and Dams, said in a telephone interview last week that the firm was interviewing architects, refining the site plan and engaging a consultant to do a market study to build two five-story 24-unit apartment buildings along the 4000 block of DuBois Boulevard.
The residential buildings would constitute the first phase of a major development in the area. The firm also hopes to assemble commercial property on the north side of the 9500 block of Ogden Avenue between DuBois Boulevard and Blanchan Avenue, which would be directly adjacent to the residential development.
According to Troutman, the market study “would confirm demand, price points and what the unit mix should be.”
Troutman said that the firm ought have a market study in hand in “a couple of months.” He said the firm hopes to begin the village’s development review process next year.
Troutman and Dams has served as the developer of record for two sites on Ogden Avenue in Brookfield since July 2015, and the Brookfield Village Board on Nov. 14 is expected to extend that agreement. But moving forward the firm would concentrate on just one of those locations, at Ogden and DuBois.
Troutman told officials at a village board meeting on Oct. 24 that his firm would be focusing its efforts on redeveloping property in and around the 9500 block of Ogden Avenue, including the village-owned former Brookfield Moose property fronting the 4000 block of DuBois Boulevard.
In July 2015, the village board named the firm as the developer of record to market and redevelop two sites within the Ogden Avenue Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District – the special zoning district bounded by Ogden Avenue, the BNSF Railroad right-of-way, Blanchan Avenue and DuBois Boulevard and the north side of the 8900 block of Ogden Avenue, which includes the former Brookfield Restaurant building.
But on Oct. 24, Troutman said his firm is dropping the 8900 block of Ogden Avenue and putting all of its efforts toward a phased redevelopment of site that includes the 9500 block of Ogden Avenue and the old Moose property.
“We had been pursuing [the 8900 Ogden site] on behalf of a specific tenant,” Troutman said. “That tenant has since lost interest in that site when we were unable to get any of those properties under contract at reasonable prices, so we’ve decided to focus on the Ogden and DuBois site.”
Troutman had unveiled his firm’s vision for that area back in June at a special forum on economic development hosted jointly by the village board and the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission.
At the time, Troutman and builder Tim Pomaville unveiled a plan calling for two five-story 24-unit apartment buildings along DuBois Boulevard and a freestanding commercial building in the 9500 block of Ogden Avenue.
The buildings were pitched as “Class-A” buildings with four stories of apartments above covered ground-floor parking. In June, Troutman also revealed he had “contracts” on two of the three parcels along the 9500 block of Ogden Avenue – the Brixies Saloon property and the vacant land at 9508 Ogden Avenue, just east of Brixies’ parking lot.
On Oct. 24, Troutman confirmed that he had a contract remaining on the 9508 Ogden Ave. property. The deal on the Brixies property expired shortly after the June presentation. The firm has been unable to elicit interest in selling from the owner of the commercial property on the northwest corner of Ogden and DuBois.
As he did in June, Pomaville stated that the apartments would be marketed to the same demographic being targeted for the Uptown LaGrange development at LaGrange Road and Ogden Avenue.
The Brookfield site wouldn’t be able to include amenities like fitness facilities and an outdoor pool that are part of the Uptown LaGrange plan, said Pomaville, but the units “would be just as nice” and competitively priced.
Trustee Michelle Ryan expressed skepticism about the ability of the proposed development to attract tenants willing to pay high rents, because that area of Brookfield can’t compare with a location on the edge of downtown LaGrange and the size of the development can’t offer the same amenities,
Pomaville said that with fewer amenities Brookfield development could offer larger units, different configurations and include parking with rentals, making the Brookfield units attractive to people who don’t want to pay for the extras.
“They do have to price higher because they have to amenitize the project itself,” Pomaville said. “They’re paying for things we don’t necessarily have to pay for. We could potentially charge a different rent based on that; give people the same or better unit for potentially less price.”