The Brookfield Village Board unanimously and without comment voted to approve a special use permit to The 1937 Group to convert a former medical office at 8863 Ogden Ave. into the village’s first adult-use recreational cannabis dispensary.
The vote capped off a fairly quick zoning review, which included a unanimous recommendation from the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission in late April, followed by a brief presentation by the company to elected officials at their May 8 committee of the whole meeting, where it appeared almost certain trustees were on board with the proposed dispensary.
The 1937 Group, which was granted one of the state’s social equity licenses, takes its name from the federal Marijuana Act of 1937 that outlawed cannabis in the United States. Its enforcement often targeted minority communities.
The company’s CEO, Ambrose Jackson, is a former healthcare administrator. In addition to the coming Brookfield dispensary, The 1937 Group operates a cannabis manufacturing facility in Broadview and a dispensary in downstate Tilton, near Danville.
Sonia Antolec, the company’s chief legal counsel and a Brookfield resident, told the Landmark in April that The 1937 Group ultimately seeks to obtain the state’s maximum 10 licenses in order for the company to compete with multi-state operators.
Antolec did not return a call from the Landmark prior to its print deadline seeking information on next steps for the Brookfield property.
In its application to the village, the company said it would seek to purchase the property at 8863 Ogden Ave., and plans indicated that the property would undergo a significant overhaul.
The commercial building will have its roof removed and replaced, with a steel canopy wrapping around the east and north sides, with new parapet walls screening rooftop mechanical units.
The existing pole sign on the property will be removed, and as a condition of approval the village of Brookfield is requiring The 1937 Group to obtain a permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation to remove the property’s Ogden Avenue curb cut to eliminate that probable traffic hazard.
The 1937 Group intends to demolish the non-conforming single-family home at the rear of the property in order to expand the parking lot to 22 spaces and include additional landscaping at the southwest corner of the lot.
Brookfield is also requiring The 1937 Group to install a 6-foot-high opaque fence along the south lot line of the property to screen it from neighbors to the south and eliminate traffic cutting through the parking lot.
The company must also either work with the property owner to the east to repair and make opaque the existing fence along that lot line or to replace it themselves with an opaque fence.
Plans show the exterior of the commercial building will be rendered with stucco and articulated by diagonally placed decorative wooden battens, and the window opening on the west façade will be removed to create room for a future mural, if and when the village amends its zoning code to allow for such public art along Ogden Avenue.
In April, Jim Reilly, the company’s vice president of facilities, told planning commissioners it would take six to seven months for the property to be completely renovated.