New owner mulls developing downtown Brookfield site

Builder pitching multifamily building at 8921 Fairview Ave.

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By Bob Uphues


Brookfield's village planner confirmed last week that a developer is considering a plan to build a multifamily apartment building at 8921 Fairview Ave. – a challenging, narrow, pie-shaped sliver of land formed by the intersection, just west of Grand Boulevard, of Fairview and Brookfield avenues.

The property is the former longtime home of a dental practice of Dr. Alan Isaac, who has owned the roughly 15,300-square-foot site for more than three decades. According to Cook County Recorder of Deeds records, the Helen Isaac Trust sold the property to a company called 8921 Fairview Ltd. last November for $150,000.

The name of the owner of the property was not immediately available. The company's record on file with the Illinois Secretary of State, created last September, does not include the name of a president or manager. 

The trustee's deed on file with the recorder indicates that property tax bills are to be sent to a residence in Valparaiso, Indiana, whose address also appears to correspond to a wrecking/demolition company.

While the new owner of the property has not yet personally approached the village about developing the site, a builder representing the owner contacted Village Planner Elyse Vukelich last week.

"I've been talking to a builder who is working with the owner on a development," Vukelich said, who added the concept was for a multifamily building. "It's a pretty challenging site to build on, and our conversations have just started."

While the property has long been home to a dental office, it had an earlier life as the site of a gas station, and reportedly there are fuel tanks still underground, which could require site remediation.

The property and the challenges of developing it were one reason the village moved to create a tax increment financing (TIF) district in the downtown Brookfield. TIF funds can be used for various purposes to spur development within the district, including property assembly, infrastructure improvements and site remediation.

The property is also specifically called out in the Brookfield Comprehensive Plan as a prime location for transit-oriented development. The comprehensive plan also indicates the location might benefit from the village vacating a portion of Fairview Avenue in order to increase the size of the narrow building site.

"At this point they're pretty open," said Vukelich of her conversation last week with the builder. "They're trying to figure out what they can do there. 

The property at 8921 Fairview Ave. is within the Station Area zoning district. As such, developers are able to hammer out plans with village planners to make sure they conform to the standards set out in the code. The developer won't necessarily need to run those plans past the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission unless the plans call for zoning accommodations beyond the scope of the Station Area standards.

"We're working with them on making that site more developable," Vukelich said.

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Fred Mertz  

Posted: January 28th, 2020 2:16 PM

A weird shaped piece of land like that should just be kept open space, some park benches and landscaping. Don't jam up these commercial areas with walls of brick and parking lots, and don't use village tax dollars to remediate land that belongs to a rich developer.

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