The village of Brookfield will seek to acquire four tax-delinquent properties through Cook County’s no-cash bid program in order to market them for redevelopment. Trustees unanimously approved an ordinance requesting acquisition of the properties from the county on Nov. 8.
Three of the four parcels are commercial properties which have been used in the past for auto repair businesses, while one is an unimproved residential lot. The properties are located at 9400 Ogden Ave., 9100 31st St., 3827 Maple Ave. and 8844 Burlington Ave.
“This ordinance would be the first step so we could continue the application,” said Village President Michael Garvey.
Village Manager Timothy Wiberg said it could take some time for the process to play out, saying the matter would come back to the board table in 2022.
Should the village take ownership of the properties through the program, which the county created to get tax-delinquent land back onto the tax rolls, the village “intends to solicit proposals for the redevelopment of the properties,” according to the text of the ordinance.
While it’s not the first time the village has used the county’s no-cash bid program to acquire key parcels of land, it’s the first time Brookfield has sought to acquire more than one property at a time and also the first time it seeks to acquire residential property.
The village first used the no-cash bid program to acquire to former Lucas Tire property at 9528 Ogden Ave. in 2004. It would take 11 years to redevelop the site, a time during which the village had to remediate contaminated soil at a total cost of more than $200,000, part of which was paid for by a grant and part by a no-interest loan. In 2015, a new Sherwin-Williams paint store opened at that property.
In 2014, the village acquired the Brookfield Bowl property at 3415 Maple Ave. through the no-cash bid program and two years later picked up the adjacent parking lot as well. The bowling alley, which had structural issues, has been demolished.
While the village did have at least one plan on the drawing board for the property’s redevelopment into a senior living complex, the deal fell through and the property remains vacant land.
With three of the four properties the village seeks to acquire housing car repair/service stations in the past, it’s unknown whether those sites would need soil remediation in order to be redeveloped.
“They are in locations where we think we can make better use of them,” Wiberg said of the properties. “If there is something like environmental contamination, the bottom line is if we don’t do something with them, nobody else will. In the end, the municipality may be the developer of last resort. Either you want these properties to sit vacant and dilapidated forever or we can come in and do something with them and try to get them redeveloped.”
If the village does acquire any or all of the properties, any tenants would be evicted. At least one of the properties, at 9100 31st St., does not have a current business license and has a delinquent water bill.
While the village would seek to redevelop all of the properties, the ordinance also states that the property at 3827 Maple Ave. could also be used for “municipal parking.”
This story has been changed to clarify that the property the village seeks to acquire at 8844 Burlington Ave. is a vacant lot adjacent to a multifamily building. The taxes on the building parcel are not delinquent. The Landmark regrets the error.