LA Fitness to open in former Ultra Foods in Wheaton
A health club chain plans to open a new gym in a shuttered Ultra Foods store at a Wheaton shopping center anchored by Target.
California-based LA Fitness intends to occupy about 40,000 square feet of the former discount supermarket, joining a bevy of fitness centers that have partially or entirely filled retail vacancies from Arlington Heights to Carol Stream.
In April 2018, GW Properties, a Chicago real estate firm, purchased the site of the former 67,000-square-foot Ultra Foods in the northeast corner of the shopping center at Roosevelt and County Farm roads.
Joliet-based Central Grocers, the parent company of Ultra Foods, announced the closure of the Wheaton store and other locations in April 2017 and then filed for bankruptcy about a month later.
After the purchase, GW Properties "quickly began lease negotiations" to redevelop the 40,000-square-foot section of the Ultra building into an LA Fitness beside the Kohl's store, according to a memo from Wheaton Planning and Economic Development Director Jim Kozik to the city council.
Council members on Monday granted the firm's request to tear down the remaining 27,000 square feet and to replace that portion of the existing building with landscaping.
"The developer has stated that after exhausting efforts to lease the balance of the 27,000-square-foot space next to the proposed LA Fitness, and factoring in the use restrictions within the governing reciprocal easement for the center, as well as a lack of depth in the retail market for the space as designed, they are seeking to demolish the remainder of the existing building to turn the proposed LA Fitness into a single tenant, 40,000-square-foot building," Kozik's memo read.
Mitch Goltz, a principal with GW Properties, said in an email Tuesday that an opening date for the LA Fitness should be in late spring, based on construction timing. The Wheaton location will be a "full signature club."
A spokesperson for the chain could not be reached Tuesday.
Before Ultra Foods, the building held another discount grocer, Cub Foods.