Michael E. Byczek
Managing Real Estate Broker

Origins of Byczek Brokerage

The Michael E. Byczek real estate business has its origins in the earliest days of Chicago history dating back to the year 1835. Michael's ancestral lineage is one of the oldest in Chicago.

His great-great-great-grandfather William Rooney owned a large real estate portfolio that consisted of multiple properties in Downtown Chicago and hundreds of acres of farm land and timber lots in present-day Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. His first acquisitions were in the late 1830s. William built multiple commercial buildings in the Loop near Lake and Franklin after the 1871 Chicago Fire along with a family home in the Gold Coast at 43 E. Division (intersection of Division and Astor). Rooney assets also included real estate ownership in the West Loop and other neighborhoods along with financial interests in other property Downtown.

William Rooney worked with his brother Owen in the 1870s for a development project in Elk Grove that would become the suburb of Mt. Prospect. William is credited with building the oldest house in present-day Mt. Prospect when part of William's original farm was later annexed to the village. William Rooney's legacy was memorialized when one of his buildings on Franklin and Lake (Downtown Chicago) was dedicated as William Rooney's Building after construction in 1873 with a plaque erected at the entrance.

The William Rooney building on the SE corner of Franklin and Lake built in 1873. [Photo from 2017]

William's wife Julia was instrumental in the family real estate business and owned several properties in Chicago and the suburbs in her own name. William arranged for Julia to oversee their assets after his death in 1885. Their daughter Kittie (Rooney) Talbot managed the lease agreements for her father's namesake building in the Loop after her mother passed away until it was sold in 1894.

William Rooney's son-in-law, and Michael E. Byczek's great-great-grandfather, Edward H. Talbot expanded the family's real estate pursuits when he opened his own brokerage company in Downtown Chicago in 1896. Proceeds from the sale of William Rooney's real estate holdings were used to launch the endeavor and to invest in other properties. The business specialized in promotional marketing for residential and commercial listings along with property management. Talbot business ventures pursued acquisition of a prestigious office building near the Financial District, an international mortgage banking initiative with branch offices throughout Europe, and large development projects for entertainment venues in the Chicago suburbs and northwest Indiana. Edward also worked as the sales manager for Charles Wacker, for whom Wacker Drive is named, during new home construction in Chicago Heights.

Kittie helped her husband Edward with the real estate business and continued her father's legacy, including ownership of multiple properties herself. After they both passed away, their real estate business and investments had been sold or otherwise acquired by business partners. Their daughter Marie Talbot went to live with her uncle John Rooney in Bridgeport until her marriage to Martin Flanagan in 1922. John Rooney had acquired a portion of Edward and Kittie's real estate and business assets over the years. He also built a four-story mixed-used building on Archer Ave a few doors away from St. Bridget's Church. John had inherited a large amount of land from his father William, which remained in the family until 1916. Marie Talbot was involved with these real estate efforts until her marriage. John died the following year and his sons sold the remaining Rooney land along with their ownership interest in the Talbot business ventures.

Edward and Kittie's granddaughter Marie Flanagan and her husband Michael S. Byczek (grandparents of Michael E. Byczek) acquired a neighborhood tavern and banquet hall in Bridgeport that they operated during the 1960s and 1970s. Marie continued the legacy of her grandparents and great-grandparents who earlier were saloonkeepers and entrepreneurs in the entertainment venue industry. The Byczek tavern was located on real estate with a historic connection to the earliest Polish Catholics in Bridgeport. Michael S. Byczek's relatives, who relocated to Chicago from Poland in the 1860s-1880s, are remembered as among the first Polish settlers in Bridgeport and pioneers of the neighborhood. Michael was the son of Martin Byczek and Maryanna Dudek. The family operated a farm in Indiana during the 1940s and 1950s while living in Bridgeport.

Michael and Marie's son Michael M. Byczek (Mick) married Betty Bykowski in 1974. Betty's grandparents had all been involved with the real estate industry in Chicago. Joseph Bykowski and Margaret Piotrowski operated a family grocery store in the Bucktown neighborhood. Frank Murzynowicz and Rose Sidor owned rental property in Wicker Park. Anna Sidor, the sister of Rose, invested in real estate located in the East Village neighborhood. Betty grew up in a house that had been acquired through one of her great-aunt's investments.

Mick and Betty have strived to preserve their family legacy in the Chicago real estate industry and profession through historical chronicles that archive these contributions to the city's growth and development.

Their son Michael E. Byczek launched his own real estate brokerage business in 2003 at the age of 22 after training by the Chicago Association of Realtors. He is currently licensed as a sole proprietor managing broker. Michael relaunched the family's promotional marketing speciality through digital strategies to showcase every square inch of real estate for sale or rent using the most current technology. He has combined a background as an attorney and computer science professional to offer residential and commercial clients (buyer or seller) the most customized brokerage services available.

William and Julia Rooney's great-great-great-grandson Michael E. Byczek is continuing the Rooney and Talbot legacy of contributions to the real estate industry and profession in Chicago. It was their daughter Kittie (Rooney) Talbot who, amongst all her siblings, stepped forward after her parents passed away to lead efforts to protect the Rooney legacy in real estate. Marie was Edward and Kittie's only daughter. Marie's eldest child was also named Marie, whose eldest is Michael M. Byczek, whose eldest is Michael E. Byczek. Kittie Rooney and Edward Talbot were married at Holy Name Cathedral in 1880. Their wedding took place 100 years and one day prior to their great-great-grandson Michael E. Byczek's baptism at St. Bridget's in Bridgeport. Michael's goal is to form a multi-generational real estate corporation that builds upon his ancestral legacy for future generations of the family.

Michael E. Byczek and his business, Byczek Brokerage, celebrated 20 years in 2023. The year 2035 will commemorate the 200 year anniversary of his family's involvement with the Chicago real estate industry.

More genealogical information about the Byczek family
Michael E. Byczek's full biographical profile

Michael E. Byczek was first licensed as an Illinois broker in 2003 and has always been self-sponsored. As a result of the 2012 licensure revision in Illinois, his current license was issued as a Licensed Real Estate Managing Broker compared to the previous distinction of Licensed Real Estate Broker.

He has also been a licensed Illinois attorney since 2007. Illinois statute prevents an individual who is both an attorney and broker from performing a combination of real estate and legal work for the same transaction. Ethics and professionalism are observed throughout a real estate transaction to comply with all requirements.

Byczek Brokerage has been an unregistered service mark of Michael E. Byczek since 2003.