Through The Iron Gates
By M&L’s version of The Stig
The 45-acre campus at Route 59 and Ferry Road is the best kept car enthusiast secret in the western suburbs. Iron Gate Motor Condos is a community offering custom garage condos to outfit as you wish. Pulling into the drive from Ferry Road, you could never imagine the sprawling space tucked behind the gates. It’s class meets style and sophistication all wrapped up in a batman-type lair unknown to the outside world.
Tom Burgess, who founded Iron Gate Motor Condos in 2014, embodies a harmonious balance of work, family, kids, house and his car “addiction” as his wife lovingly refers to it. Tom’s interest in cars started as a young kid, undoubtedly passed down from his dad, a Mercedes enthusiast. A developer by trade, he initially made his own car condo in a warehouse but quickly realized it lacked his family and friends, equally as important to him as his luxury cars. He needed a clean place to store his beloved acquisitions, desired a community to share his passion, and wanted somewhere comfortable where his wife and kids could come and hang out. After some “if you build it, they will come” encouragement from his dad, Tom founded Iron Gate Motor Condos and continues to honor his dad’s legacy through this amazing community.
Each garage condo is climate-controlled, secure and private. The first floor of the condo offers museum-type conditions to store your classic cars and up a short flight of stairs is a loft that includes a luxury kitchenette and sitting area for families to relax. Each unit is completely customizable and can include a car lift, basketball half court or anything else you can dream up.
Many of the owners are not merely car collectors but invest a significant amount of time getting into their car’s specific minutia. Iron Gate campus includes an on-site car detailing shop, auto insurance agent, and mechanic. Services include battery changes, oil servicing, and tire maintenance.
Interestingly, most car condo properties aren’t actually places you can live. New zoning was recently approved by the city of Naperville to allow Iron Gate to house people and their cars in the townhomes on the northeast side of the community. Each row of townhomes plays on Chicago’s Northshore city names. There will be a Wilmette, Glencoe, and Kenilworth. All set up for new residents in the fall. Soon you can live, play, and work (from home) here!
Community is at the heart of Iron Gate. In the center of the property is a clock tower playfully always set to 5 pm – calling Jimmy Buffet!! Tucked inside the tower is a speakeasy that plays host to quarterly social events. In addition to the speakeasy events, many owners have started wine nights, road trips, and smaller gatherings to hang with the other enthusiasts. Tom told us he feels he has truly exceeded his own expectations and allowed himself and others to enjoy their passions along with their family and friends.
Iron Gate Motor Condos is open to the public once a month for owners to display their prized possessions. For $10, you can drive through the gates and see different makes and models from all over the world and time periods in one place. Money collected from each visiting carload of people is donated to charity. It’s worth coming to see what Iron Gate is about. As Tom says, car enthusiasts tend to the best kind of people, and we agree!