April 06, 2006

Pioneer Press, 4/6: Edens athletic club gets a new owner

More details on the redevelopment plans for the Edens Athletic Club property:

Edens athletic club gets a new owner
by Amy Le
April 6, 2006

Edens athletic club gets a new owner When plans to build a Wendy's franchise on the site of a former fitness club failed to materialize last fall, neighbors who fought the deal said they "wanted anything but a fast food joint."

The residents may soon get their wish.

Tennis Corporation of America President Steven Schwartz told Pioneer Press that on March 20 his company finalized the sale of the Edens Athletic Club, 5130 N. Cicero Ave., to Talyoni LLC.

"I'm not completely happy that we had to sell the property," Schwartz said. "I would have preferred leasing the building to Wendy's, but that didn't happen."

Schwartz declined to release the final sale price of the building.

Wendy's initially signed a 15-year lease with TCA last April. But opposition from neighbors on the 5100 block of North LaCrosse Avenue, and pressure from Alderman Patrick Levar, D-45th, moved the fast food giant to withdraw their request for a special-use permit needed for a drive-through.

The lease agreement for the property had been contingent upon the Zoning Board of Appeal's approval of the permit application. By October, Wendy's had dissolved their lease agreement with Tennis Corporation.

Aaron Tiram, who now manages the property, said plans will include demolishing the existing facility and constructing a two- or three-story building with five storefronts. The property is currently on a .68-acre lot, and Tiram said its zoning would allow them to build up to a height of 38 feet. He said the building will have three terraces, and the second level will be reserved for medical offices. In addition, the new building would designate space for a showroom displaying hardwood flooring, doors and tiles for Elotek Inc.

"We are still at the preliminary stages of planning," Tiram said. "We haven't even submitted any drawings to the city or to the alderman."

Levar said once he sees renderings of the proposed plan for the property, he will send letters to those residents living next to the lot, informing them about the project and what it will entail.

Resident Wesley Zameda said he and fellow neighbors are thrilled that Wendy's will not be moving into the neighborhood, and they look forward to welcoming the medical offices. He said that their only concern now is heavy use of the alleys by trucks delivering equipment to the showroom.

"This development is happening in our very back yards," said Zameda, whose home is adjacent to the former fitness club.

"We want to be kept in the loop with the construction plans."

Source: Pioneer Press

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