By Bob Uphues
A daycare center approved in February to occupy a former auto parts store on Ogden Avenue in Brookfield won't be moving ahead and the building itself is now up for auction.
Caroline Sanchez, owner of Let's Play Child Development Center, confirmed that she is putting off her plans to open a fourth location, saying the ongoing pandemic has made parents reluctant to send their children back into a group daycare situation.
"The pandemic is bad for us, because we don't have any children right now," said Sanchez, who operates one location in Cicero and two in North Riverside. "I can't do one more if I don't have children."
Sanchez said her other locations are open and operating, but that enrollment is far below capacity. For example, she said, one of the two North Riverside locations has a maximum capacity of 98 children. Right now, the location serves just 27.
"We need to wait," Sanchez said of any plans for future expansion.
After its plans were approved by the Brookfield Village Board in February, Let's Play Child Development Center was expected to purchase the property at 9101 Ogden Ave. and improve it.
Now, however, the building is on the auction block. The auction listing with AW Properties Global notes that the property comprises two lots covering about 10,000 square feet.
The building is about 6,000 square feet and most recently was home to a Carquest Auto Parts store. The minimum auction bid is $185,000 and online bids will be accepted between Aug. 17 and Aug. 19.
Sanchez said she is still interested in Brookfield as a location for a daycare center.
"I liked that place," she said. "It was for us a big place, but I can't do business right now if I don't have children."