A suburban development company is eyeing a large, pie-shaped parcel of land in downtown Brookfield for what one official said would be the biggest residential development in more than a decade.
Nicholas Greifer, the village’s community and economic development director, revealed the concept in very general terms in a staff report made public earlier this month.
In the report, Greifer called the proposed concept “the biggest residential project since 2005 and possibly the biggest ever in terms of dwelling units.”
The property in question is a long, narrow triangular parcel of land bounded by Fairview Avenue, Brookfield Avenue and Sunnyside Avenue. The roughly 22,000-square-foot parcel is divided into two lots.
The larger of the two lots includes a vacant former dentist’s office, which has been listed for sale for $179,000. That property is currently under contract to KrohVan Real Estate Solutions, the firm’s owner, Christopher Krohe confirmed to the Landmark last week.
The other property is home to a small warehouse owned by the Chicago Zoological Society, which uses the building for storage.
Krohe declined to get into specifics about how he would like to develop the property, but he confirmed that he has had soil testing done to determine the extent of any environmental cleanup that might be needed at the site. The dentist office property was once home to a gas station, and there are fuel tanks located below ground.
If something moves ahead at the site, it would be the second Brookfield project for Krohe’s company. The Western Springs-based company purchased the vacant former Helping Hand Resale Store at 3726 Grand Blvd. in 2016, built out the space and has leased it to Alphabet Learning Center.
“I think that [downtown] area has some potential to grow even more,” Krohe said.
While he wishes the village would have created a TIF district for the downtown area, as it has at Eight Corners and along Ogden Avenue, Krohe said the village’s rezoning of the train station areas in 2017 was attractive for developers.
“That definitely has made it easier as far as getting projects off the ground,” Krohe said. “In the end, a development like this will benefit myself as the developer, the village and the community all around.”
Until the 2017 construction of a nine-unit apartment building just across the street from the triangular property, there hasn’t been any significant residential redevelopment of Brookfield’s downtown in well over a decade.
In 2006, a developer built 18 townhomes and four single-family homes at the former site of Buresh’s Lobster House on 31st Street, and a 16-unit townhome project followed a few years later at Shields and Eberly avenues on the village’s south end.
The most recent residential development near downtown was the 18-unit Forest Creek condo development in the 3600 block of Forest Avenue. The development was approved in 2006, but it went into foreclosure and wasn’t completed and occupied until 2010.
Earlier this year, the village approved rezoning a parcel of land on Burlington Avenue in downtown Brookfield to pave the way for a four-story, mixed-use commercial/residential development that has yet to break ground.