Gurnee Park District commissioners have authorized borrowing $8.5 million for the purchase of the former Gold's Gym near the Tri-State Tollway.
Board members at a meeting Tuesday night voted in favor of borrowing the cash by selling $8.5 million in bonds to investors. Officials said a total $10.5 million eventually will be borrowed for the deal and won't cause a property tax increase.
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Park officials said buying the gym for about $9.1 million will allow the agency to add an indoor swimming pool to its portfolio, offer more group exercise space and create extra recreational opportunities. The park district already operates a fitness center at Hunt Club Park on the village's west side.
Executive Director Susie Kuruvilla said the tentative closing date for the purchase is Oct. 15, but it may be pushed back.
"It is the park district's intent to start selling memberships the day after we take ownership," Kuruvilla said.
To rebrand the facility and do a deep cleaning, Kuruvilla said, the park district plans to close the pool and fitness area for roughly two weeks after taking control of the gym at 1655 Nations Drive, just east of the Tri-State Tollway.
Gold's Gym planned to close later this year. Opened in 1999, the facility covers 75,000 square feet, with features such as the five-lane lap pool, saunas, steam rooms, two hot tubs, a gymnasium, group fitness studios, a spin room and spacious locker rooms.
Officials said the $10.5 million will cover the $9.1 million purchase and facility upgrades. Officials said the money is being borrowed in two stages to obtain lower interest rates.
After the $8.5 million is obtained from the first bond sale, officials said, the final $2 million should be secured early next year. Plans call for Gold's Gym customers to be shifted to park district memberships when the sale is finalized.
"We are very excited that our plans are finally becoming a reality," Kuruvilla said.