Buffalo Grove hopes fitness club revitalizes struggling shopping center

The nearly vacant Cambridge Commons shopping center is about to emerge from years of retail hibernation.

Buffalo Grove trustees Monday approved a rezoning and special use permit that clears the way for a new 24 Hour Fitness health club to open in the shopping mall at the southeast corner of Dundee and Buffalo Grove roads.

Based in San Ramon, California, 24 Hour Fitness has 400 nationwide locations. The Buffalo Grove club will operate in a 35,000-square-foot space and include a pool and half basketball court.

The health club will anchor the 1960-era shopping center in a space formerly occupied by Dominick's. The center has sat empty since 2013, except for a 2,000-square-foot dental office.

A Fresh Farms grocery store had been proposed for the site, but an incentive agreement between the property owner and village collapsed in 2014.

Deputy Village Manager Christopher Stilling said revamping he center will involve a multimillion dollar investment that will include a new facade, landscaping and signage.

Nick Vittore, vide president of center owner Svigos Asset Management Inc., said the rehab would “freshen up a very tired center.”

Future plans call for a restaurant with outdoor dining in a corner unit west of the health club, he added.

“I think the plans that are presented with the increased sidewalks around the front will provide a nice gathering space and encourage some food retailers along the west side,” Vittore said.

The plan addresses neighbors' concerns about light from the center spilling onto their properties by dimming the eastern parking lot lights after 10 p.m. and reducing reconfiguring the parking lot lines. The village board also adopted plan and zoning commission recommendations that overnight parking would be encouraged in the north parking.

Lawrence Freedman, attorney for the developer, said they would work with neighbors to address landscaping issues.

“It looks like a great improvement from what's there right now,” Village President Beverly Sussman said.

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