Burgess aims for a car in every condo unit

Tom Burgess, owner and developer with Burgess Commercial in Aurora, has been a longtime car enthusiast with 10 luxury cars in his personal collection.

The Porsche 911, Bentley Flying Spur and others are stored at the Aurora Corporate Center in a unit he built just for them.

But polishing and caring for those vehicles can be lonely at times. So he decided to break ground on the Iron Gate condo development in Naperville.

The condos aren't for living in. They're for cars. And lots of them.

"After you polish them, you're alone. You love them, but they're not good company," Burgess said, laughing.

So he and a friend thought about developing Iron Gate Motor Condos so other car enthusiasts can store their objects of their affection near each other in various units to fit their needs. It also provides camaraderie among the owners, he said.

"There is a huge group of people out there. A variety of people. They're all great. Everyone I've met at car shows or car races are all good, sound, wonderful people," he said.

And he believes they'll buy the condos, once they're available starting in August. The four-year project is being built on land that he owns on Ferry Road, just north of I88 and Route 59. Construction on the project started in March.

He said that golfers have their place at the club. Pilots have their place at the hangar. Now his fellow motoring enthusiasts will have their place at Iron Gate. He plans to move his own collection to the new site.

Burgess, who lives with his wife and two children in Geneva, said he started his love affair with cars when he was a year old, sitting on his father's lap while he looked at Hot Rod magazine.

Over the years, he's owned pick up trucks, a Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe 1985, a Ford Taurus SHO, a turbo charged Mazda Miata, among others, he said.

"Part of the problem is, where to keep them all," the 50-year-old said.

When a box fell on a car hood while trying to park in an overcrowded garage, he knew he had to find more space a few years ago. That's when he built the unit in Aurora, he said.

Now, his dream is to complete Iron Gate for others who share his love of classic or luxury vehicles. The first phase involves 13 buildings on about 40 acres. Each building will have packages to meet the needs of the collector, such as for electrical usage, and units will range from 1,150 square feet to 16,000 square feet. Prices start at about $124,000.

The gated community will have motion cameras, but the public could get a sneak peek at the autos during open house events, he said.

"This whole development is strictly for cars. People can stay there, if they come back late from a (car) event, but it's not for residential," he said.

Honored for helping runaways

Joyce Sapir of Deerfield was honored as the 2014 National Runaway Safeline Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to helping runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families. Since 2012, Sapir has volunteered more than 300 hours in the 1-800-RUNAWAY call center in Chicago, has reconnected 17 youth with their families, and she has handled 1,050 calls. Having raised three children herself, Joyce is drawn to working with youth and families because of that personal connection to the demographic. She knows how difficult it can be and the enormous amount of help she can provide even through one phone call, she said.

Soon you'll buy more online

Ben Beckstrom, director of information technology at Lou Malnati's Pizza in Northbrook was among the panel speakers at the Executive Panel Discussion "Leveraging Technology to Drive Business Performance" held recently at the Chicago History Museum. Moderating the panel was Joel Schneider, president of Liberty Technology Advisors in Northbrook. The group said businesses and consumers alike soon will be making a majority of their buying decisions on mobile devices.


Doug Cygan has been named vice president of marketing and merchandising for Itasca-based Jewel-Osco. ... Megan Johnson of Sycamore has landed the newly created position of digital strategist at Martinez Creative Group in St. Charles. ... Peter Caliendo of Caliendo Sports International, said he's been traveling in Vancouver, Vancouver Island and elsewhere in Canada. He's part of the 2014 baseball traveling Coaches Caravan making over 10 stops in Canada.

Greg Brown, CEO of Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions, will be the keynoter at the Illinois Chamber's annual luncheon on June 26 at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in downtown Chicago. ... Foad Rasekh said his Riverwoods Smiles cosmetic dentistry practice is open in the Shoppes of Riverwoods Plaza and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for May 5.

Jeff Freeman, vice president at Sugar Grove-based Engineering Enterprises Inc., picked up his Robert T. Sasman Volunteer Appreciation Award from the Illinois Section American Water Works Association at an awards breakfast in Springfield. ... Leo Covarrubias is the store manager of the new Hobby Lobby in Stratford Crossing in Bloomingdale and he's working on a grand opening on May 5.

•There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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