Flush with the success of the new Signature Apartments building in the 8900 block of Fairview Avenue in downtown Brookfield, RMG Realty Group is hoping to replicate the formula on a somewhat smaller scale elsewhere in the district.
Michael Gatto, principal of RMG Realty, hopes to break ground this fall on a three-story, six-unit apartment building on a vacant parcel of land at 8917 Grant Ave. that his company purchased in May for $123,000.
“We see real value in Brookfield having growth potential in the downtown corridor and in Brookfield as a whole,” said Gatto, whose nine-unit on Fairview was fully leased within five months.
All of the units in the Grant Avenue development will be two-bedrooms, which is a change from the Fairview Avenue building, which had a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
The latter building attracted a mix of young professionals in the one- and two-bedroom units and families in the three-bedroom units, which Gatto called “a nice mix of tenancy.”
Rents for the two-bedroom units in the Fairview Avenue building were listed at about $1,900 per month. Rents at the new development ought to be comparable, he said.
“We were pretty much right on with rents,” Gatto said. “We believe there’s a lot of growth potential in unit rates on the next turn.”
In terms of architectural style, the Grant Avenue development will look a lot like the Fairview Avenue building, with a masonry stair tower, cement board lap siding and cedar balconies.
BrightLeaf Homes was Gatto’s partner on the Fairview Avenue development, but he’s flying solo on Grant Avenue, because it’s a smaller project that can’t financially accommodate another partner. The two companies remain partners on the Fairview development.
“They’re great partners,” Gatto said.
Due to the new Station Area Zoning code adopted by Brookfield in 2017, Gatto is able to build the six-unit development by right, without having to get approvals from the Planning and Zoning Commission or the village board.
Gatto said he has applied for building permits and will break ground as soon as they are approved. Plans are currently undergoing review by the village’s third-party consultant, B & F Construction Code Services.
“We have had a very positive change with the zoning modernization,” Gatto said. “It’s created a real healthy community to foster development in.”
Once construction starts, said Gatto, work will continue through winter with a hope for occupancy in the summer of 2019.
Gatto and the village of Brookfield also are interested in inking a cost-sharing partnership agreement that will tie the development into the village’s storm sewer system instead of connecting the building to the combined sewer system.
On Sept. 24, the village is expected to approve sharing the cost of constructing a storm sewer connection along Grant Avenue, tying into the storm sewer on Prairie Avenue. The proposed agreement contemplates the village paying $35,000 for the improvement, with RMG Realty chipping in $15,000.
The infrastructure work would be timed to coincide with the resurfacing of Grant Avenue that is part of the village of Brookfield’s 2019 street improvement program.
“I think it’s a good thing for everybody,” Gatto said.