October 3, 2005

"Thank you for your patronage"

Thank you for your patronage

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October 6, 2005

Press, 10/5: Wendy's expected to drop plan for athletic club site

What's this? Wendy's thinking about backing out of building on the Edens Athletic Club location? Go figure.

Wendy's expected to drop plan for athletic club site
by Brian Nadig
October 5, 2005

Alderman Patrick Levar (45th) said this week that an attorney for the Wendy's restaurant chain has informed him that the company plans to drop its plans to open a restaurant on the site of the recently closed Edens Athletic Club, 5130 N. Cicero Ave. Wendy's expected to drop plan for athletic club site

The attorney said that the company will withdraw its request for a special use for the site at the Oct. 21 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals, according to Levar, who said that his office has not received written confirmation from Wendy's. One of the factors that reportedly could affect the chain's decision is whether it can get out of a long-term lease that it has on the property.

More than 300 people have signed a petition opposing the plan to open a Wendy's on the site, and several residents living near the site have attempted to get the health club to reopen. The property is zoned for a restaurant, but a special use is required for a drive-through window. October 5, 2005

"I urged Wendy's to find a more appropriate location, possibly in the 45th Ward," Levar said. "My main concern will be whether there will be someone who will be able to step forward and operate and lease the health club." Levar said that the proximity of homes and congested traffic on Cicero make the site a poor choice for a drive-through restaurant.

Officials with the Tennis Corporation of America have said that the 30-year-old club had not been profitable over the past decade and that it was not large enough to compete with newer facilities in the area. A group of members failed in an attempt to buy the club.

About 2 years ago the CVS Pharmacy chain considered building a store on the site, but was unable to obtain the additional properties which it needed.

Resident Wesley Zameda said that while he welcomes the news that Wendy's may withdraw its plans, the uncertainty over the site's future will continue to be a concern for the community until the club reopens or an appropriate alternative is found.

Source: Nadig Newspapers

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October 27, 2005

Press, 10/26: Application for special use for Edens site withdrawn

The athletic club may be closed, but it doesn't look like Wendy's is going to be replacing it anytime soon. As previously reported by the media, at the October 21 Zoning Board meeting, Wendy's formally withdrew their application for a drive-through permit, ending their pursuit of the property. Here's how it was reported in the Nadig Newspaper's Press:

Application for special use for Edens site withdrawn
by Brian Nadig
October 26, 2005

An application for a proposed Wendy's drive-through restaurant at 5130 N. Cicero Ave. was withdrawn at the Zoning Board of Appeals' Oct. 21 meeting, and several other area zoning proposals face delays due to community concerns.

Application for special use for Edens site withdrawn

Despite the withdrawal, the owner of the property has asserted that it is too late for Wendy's to back out of its agreement to lease the site. However, Alderman Patrick Levar (45th) last week ruled out the possibility of the fast food chain building at that location. "As long as I'm alderman, there will be no Wendy's there," Levar said, adding that he asked the company to find a more appropriate location."

Application for special use for Edens site withdrawn

The proposal called for Wendy's to be built on the site of the recently closed Edens Athletic Club, where several homes were demolished about 30 years ago to allow construction of the health club. Some area residents have said that a restaurant on the site would generate more traffic than the health club did and that noise from the drive-through would disturb the neighborhood.

Source: Nadig Newspapers

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October 27, 2005

Pioneer Press, 10/27: Questions remain on status of Wendy's lease agreement

It's the story that just won't die. TCA worked a deal with Wendy's back in June. Reportedly, that deal was contingent on getting a special use permit for a drive-through. The community didn't like that idea. TCA closed the club. Oops, Wendy's doesn't want that location after all. The fast food giant withdrawals their permit application. TCA didn't like that.

Questions remain on status of Wendy's lease agreement
by Amy Le
October 27, 2005

Questions remain on status of Wendy's lease agreement When Wendy's signed a 15-year lease agreement in April with Tennis Corporation of America to take over the site of Edens Athletic Club and convert the property into a new restaurant, TCA President Steven Schwartz said he thought it was a "done deal."

A recent notice indicates it may be otherwise.

Earlier this month, Schwartz said he received a letter from Wendy's notifying him of the company's decision to dissolve the lease agreement. Despite the letter, Schwartz maintains that "the deal is still on."

Endy Zemenides, a zoning attorney for Wendy's International Inc., confirms that they have terminated their lease agreement with Chicago-based TCA.

Zemenides, who spoke with Pioneer Press earlier this month, declined further comment explaining the company's decision.

He did, however, say that Wendy's has withdrawn their application for a special-use permit for a drive-through facility at the site, 5130 N. Cicero Ave. The lease agreement for the property had been contingent upon the Zoning Board of Appeals' approval of the application.

The request for the special-use was originally scheduled for the board's agenda for July 15. But opposition against the Wendy's from neighbors on the 5100 block of North La Crosse Avenue moved Alderman Patrick Levar, 45th Ward, to solicit a 60-day continuance with the board. At the ZBA hearing Oct. 21, officials announced the company had withdrawn its request.

Forest Glen resident Wesley Zameda, whose home backs up to the former fitness club, said he's "thrilled by the news" and looks forward to "not having to put up with the smell of french fries and burgers." Zameda and fellow residents spent the past four months organizing a campaign to save the Edens. The club, a popular full-service gym, had been open for more than 30 years at its Cicero Avenue location. Despite their efforts, the club officially closed its doors Sept. 30.

During their campaign, the group received 297 signatures on a petition objecting to the construction and operation of a Wendy's restaurant on Cicero Avenue. Zameda and fellow residents attended the meeting Friday and were pleased that the application was withdrawn.

"Everybody told us it was going to be a done deal, but we kept pushing," Zameda said. "With the help of the alderman (Levar) and the community, we were able to keep (Wendy's) from coming."

Not everyone is celebrating the withdrawal. Schwartz said TCA still owns the property, and according to their lease agreement, Wendy's is still listed as the current tenant.

"We closed our business in conjunction with the lease agreement," Schwartz said. "The period to terminate that agreement has long expired. The lease will be in full effect and I expect to hand over the keys (to Wendy's) on Nov. 1."

The current zoning on the Cicero Avenue property would permit a restaurant, so with or without the drive-through, Wendy's can still open for business, Schwartz said.

For his part, Zameda said he and his neighbors plan to oppose any fast food restaurant seeking to take over the property.

"Winter is coming soon, and we don't want to see that building vacant," he said. "But we will not support a restaurant there. We'd like to get another health club or some kind of business that could benefit everyone in the community."

Source: Pioneer Press

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