August 03, 2005

What's the deal with Monthly Memberships?

Look, a balloon!As your host here at, allow me to editorialize just a bit. These are my thoughts and no one else's, so please, if you must send hate mail, just use the Contact Us form! :)

Recently, current management at Edens Athletic Club started marketing the concept of "Monthly Memberships" with discounts on the initiation fee. Internally, these new memberships are being promoted by signage posted around the club with a personal plea from Club Manager Steve Brady.

Externally, the club has spent some cash on an inflatable hot air balloon sign on the roof encouraging newcomers to "Join Today". There is also signage on the outside of the building facing Cicero Ave. advocating the new monthly terms.

Overall, this is an interesting development by TCA. It's presented by management as a way to "increas[e] Membership during these unsure times." If TCA was so sure the deal with Wendy's was going to be successful, then why market the facilities to potential new members who may be left high-and-dry in just a few months? Maybe it's just a short-term reaction to the seemingly mass exodus of members that has

occurred since the Wendy's deal became public knowledge. It's landing on the club!Speaking personally as a club member, I wouldn't blame those who left the club after the news hit the press on June 29. Those of us who were members had no heads-up regarding the decision and most likely felt betrayed by the club. Would you continue to put your trust in such an organization? My sister works with management in the athletic club industry and recently summarized the way this whole scenario was handled by TCA as... "odd." I think most of us involved as club members would tend to agree. It's really a weird situation.

Accordingly, we're now in a time when everything seems to be in limbo. The next Zoning Board meeting is not until Friday, October 21 at 2:00 p.m. (mark your calendars!). Obviously, there are conversations being held behind the scenes by all the parties involved that most of us will never know about. Every now and then more information gets publicly released via a newspaper article or club announcement, but for the most part, things are quiet. In the meantime, many of us just continue to keep our patterns, whether that be playing racquetball or working out on a regular basis. Uncertain of what

lies ahead. Get your monthly memberships here!It's an odd feeling for everyone. But remember this... we're all in it together! (Even Alderman Levar has been quoted as "leaning against" the Wendy's proposal). So don't lose heart over the uncertainty. I don't see a bright shining sign proclaiming "Old Fashioned Hamburgers" lurking over Cicero Ave. yet!

Keep letting your friends and neighbors know about the situation. Make sure they contact the alderman's office and make their feelings known about the Health Club-to-Wendy's scenerio. Alderman Levar's phone number is 773.545.2545 and his e-mail is Don't just sit there like someone slurping down a Frosty... be active!

Posted by Tannerman at 6:09 PM | Comments (1) | Trackback

August 10, 2005

Press, 8/10: Mention of

Dave Thomas wouldn't want a Wendy's hereForest Glen Gleanings
by Bill Griesnauer
August 10, 2005

...By now you no doubt have read and heard over the back fence about plans to turn the Edens Athletic Club into a fast-food joint. If this kind of thing whets your appetite, there's a new Web site you might want to check out.

It's called and its webmaster is former Glenite Steve Tanner. Steve and his wife are members of the club, and they along with other members and nearby residents are very much interested in keeping the club a club.

Steve says the Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled to discuss the matter in October. It was originally on the ZBA docket last month, but Alderman Patrick Levar requested a 60-day continuance.

If you are interested in preventing the Wendy's folks from turning the fitness center into a drive-through eatery, "Let your voice be heard," says Steve. And take a look at the Web site for the latest info.

Edens Athletic Club, 5130 N. Cicero Ave., sits right in the middle of the block, and a restaurant there would provide a rather challenging traffic situation. Across-the-alley neighbors on LaCrosse Avenue are concerned about traffic, noise and the sometimes not-so-pleasant aromas in their back yards.

Some members and employees have expressed interest in purchasing the building to keep it a fitness club.

Source: Nadig Newspapers

Posted by Tannerman at 3:37 PM | Comments (0) | Trackback

August 10, 2005

Welcome Press Readers!

Here at our thanks go out to Bill Griesnauer, who was gracious enough to include a little blurb about this website in his "Forest Glen Gleanings" column (Press, August 10, Page 7). When I was a kid, my first job was delivering the Press newspapers to a local neighborhood. My younger sister tells me it was hard work, given that I coaxed her into helping back then! :) But I digress... Read It and Debate It!

Read It and Debate It!

To those of you who have discovered this website because of Bill's column, welcome! To get you up-to-speed on the health club-to-Wendy's situation, I'd recommend reading the various articles in our Media Coverage section, including Press, 6/29: Athletic club reported sold for restaurant, Pioneer Press, 7/14: Goodbye fitness club, hello Wendy's burgers, and Press, 7/27: Mention of Wendy's continuance.

In short, the club owner, TCA, wants to sell the club to Wendy's because it's losing money. Obviously, club members and local residents aren't so big on the idea for various reasons. The Wendy's deal is contingent on the city approving a drive-through lane for the location. Accordingly to reports, if that approval is not granted, then the Wendy's deal is off. At the same time, some private parties are investigating the idea of purchasing the club from TCA and keeping it a fitness facility.

What can you do? Probably the easiest thing is to give our friend Alderman Patrick Levar a call (773.545.2545) and let him know about your concern over the Wendy's situation. You can e-mail him too at Neighborhood feedback weighs heavily into decisions by the Zoning Board of Appeals. At the same time, spread the word about the situation to your friends, associates, and even your next door neighbor. Feeling a little more aggressive? Give the Zoning Board of Appeals a call as well at 312.744.3888. Finally, post your comments here on so they can be read by others. Forming a strong community effort is part of the reason this website is in place.

Continuing the battle against "Biggie"-sizing our traffic and neighborhood experience...

Posted by Tannerman at 4:16 PM | Comments (0) | Trackback