A real estate development company with experience in converting institutional buildings into residential properties is looking to buy both St. Barbara School and the St. Barbara convent in Brookfield, according to Rev. Denis Condon, pastor of Holy Guardian Angels Parish, which owns the buildings.
Condon told the Landmark that the parish had a signed letter of intent to buy the properties from the development company, whose name he declined to disclose since the sale has not been completed yet.
It could take some time yet before the sale is completed, said Condon, because it must be approved by the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“There will be nothing before the first of the year,” Condon said.
Both the school, 8900 Windemere Ave., and convent, 4000 Forest Ave., are listed for sale as a package for $850,000. The Chicago-based real estate investment firm 33 Realty has the listing.
According to the listing, the school building potentially could be converted into about 15 apartments, while it identifies the convent as “an ideal teardown for a single-family home builder.”
Neither building is being used by Holy Guardian Angels Parish, which was created by the merger of St. Barbara and St. Louise de Marillac parishes in 2019.
St. Barbara School closed its doors in 2012 and afterward housed religious education classes and was used as an emergency overnight shelter for BEDS Plus, which serves those facing homelessness.
The school building, however, was rendered uninhabitable in late 2019 when the building’s heating plant failed.
The convent is also is uninhabited and has not been in use for a number of years, said Condon.
“It has just sat there doing nothing,” said Condon, who added that both buildings contain lots of asbestos tile and would be too costly for the parish to rehab and make them usable for parish purposes.
“The way the convent is built, it’s useless for any other reason [than remaining a convent] unless it was renovated,” Condon said. “We don’t really want to use it.”
While neither the parish nor the real estate developer interested in the buildings has approached the village with a formal plan, the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave., to consider a text amendment to the zoning code to allow as a special use “multifamily developments in single-family zoning districts as part of an adaptive reuse of an institutional building.”
The village is the applicant seeking the text amendment. Members of the public are invited to provide comment on the proposed zoning amendment either in writing prior to the hearing or in person.
Written comment can be sent to the Planning and Zoning Commission via Village Planner Elyse Vukelich at evukelich@brookfield or by mailing a written comment to Vukelich at the village hall address.