Work on Life Time Fitness center in Lake Zurich under way
Construction of the Life Time Fitness center that sparked much debate among Lake Zurich residents and officials finally is under way 14 months after the village board approved it.
In coming weeks, those driving past the former Hackney's restaurant site at 880 N. Old Rand Road can expect to see crews digging a hole that will become the fitness center's basement.
The original plan called for a three-story facility standing 60 feet tall. But residents and village officials alike expressed concern over the proposed height, leading Life Time to remove the top floor from the plan and build a basement instead.
"It's definitely the first club with a full basement," said Aaron Koehler, director of development for Life Time. "We designed it specifically for this site to work with the comments we were hearing along the way."
Adding the basement was tricky from a planning perspective and not the most economically friendly option for the company, Koehler added.
"While it took time and a lot of hard work from everybody, it did work," he said.
"It's all part of a healthy process."
At a groundbreaking ceremony July 3, Mayor Thomas Poynton thanked residents for the part they played in that process.
"We are a business-friendly community and we have a particular process that we follow, and I think the process resulted in us as residents getting a top-notch project," Poynton said, adding that suggestions from residents had a positive impact on the project.
Besides the basement, one of the most significant changes to the plan was the building's location on the property.
Initially the plan called for it to be near the center, but over time the building moved further to the southwest corner of the property to be farther from nearby homes.
Koehler said once the hole for the basement is finished construction will take another 14 months, which is typical for a center of the Lake Zurich location's size.
Poynton said the new building will be an asset to the village and help drive traffic to nearby businesses.
"This is probably the biggest project we've done since I've been mayor," he said.