Senior housing could replace teen nightclub Zero Gravity
For nearly 21 years, the building at Route 53 and 75th Street has been a teen nightclub.
By the end of this year, it could be a senior living site.
Zero Gravity, the Woodridge teen club with a Naperville address that's long operated at the corner, is set to close after a party on March 20, owner Paul Malek of Naperville said.
In its place could come an assisted living and memory care facility operated by Cedarhurst Living of St. Louis.
Woodridge's planning and zoning commission on Monday recommended approval of plans to build a four-story, 100-unit senior living center and the village board is set to consider the proposal March 17.
Malek said the land on which he had been renting space for the club has been sold, so he must vacate the building by March 23.
The move will end an era of late-night dance parties for the under-21 crowd in the Western suburbs. Since posting plans to close after parties March 18, 19 and 20 on the club's Facebook page, Malek said he's been hearing an outpouring of memories from past "clubheadz."
"We've had a lot of people come through our doors and that's where they all started dancing, coming in and meeting other people," said Malek, who co-owns the business with his brother, Mario Malek. "I never realized we affected people's lives that much."
Former clubgoers who are now older than 21 can attend a "reunion" party Friday, March 18, while the club's final two nights will be reserved for members of the younger set who have kept it open for two decades.
As Zero Gravity closes, Malek said he is working with a real estate agent to identify other sites in hopes of opening a new club with a different name by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Woodridge police spokeswoman Traci Marrocco said Zero Gravity hasn't caused too many issues in the years since the facility annexed into the village in 2010. But there have been calls about fights and underage drinking.
"For a nightclub establishment, the call volume was nothing out of the ordinary," Marrocco said. "It wasn't really a problem like I think a lot of people think it was."
Still, the future of the 6-acre site near Greene Valley Forest Preserve could be a lot more tame if Cedarhurst's plans for a senior living facility are approved.
"With the new development there, we're definitely hoping that the call volume decreases," Marrocco said.
Cedarhurst is seeking permission to divide the area into three lots -- one for a 99,560-square-foot senior living center and two others for commercial development, said Jack Knight, assistant to the village administrator. The residential facility itself would reserve 8,600 square feet on the ground floor for commercial uses complementary to the needs of seniors, such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, medical testing or doctor's offices, according to a report from the community development department.
A Cedarhurst spokeswoman said the company is seeking approvals from Woodridge but officials were unavailable to provide details Tuesday.