Xsport Fitness Closes Location in Blighted Shopping Center in Arlington Heights Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Xsport Gym South Arlington Heights at 320 East Golf Road is listed as Temporarily Closed, but the owners have cleared the entire space of all fitness equipment, overhead televisions, and other fixtures.
When Xsport Fitness began to re-open with the relaxation of statewide Coronavirus COVID-19 restrictions, there was no anticipated date or “opening soon” message for Arlington Heights South location, and that brought concern that the location on Golf Road might not re-open.
The Arlington Heights North location at 960 West Dundee Road is open and recently expanded hours slightly, but is still not a 24-hour gym.
The Arlington Heights “South Gym” when it opened in the 1980s, was the first bodybuilding and general fitness gym in modern times in Arlington Heights. The gym was initially a Powerhouse Gym in the days when their was a Gold’s Gym located in Hoffman Estates at Golf Road and Roselle Road. Both gyms captured the spirit of the California bodybuilding scene, especially bodybuilders, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Eventually, owner Dan Morrissey operating Powerhouse Gym at 320 East Golf Road, decided to discontinue paying licensing or franchise fees to Powerhouse (founded in Highland Park, Michigan in 1974) and progress to build a fitness business of his own with the help of a commercial real estate developer. Xsport Fitness was born with location #1 in Lombard, Illinois. The Arlington Heights location at 320 East Golf Road was the second Xsport Fitness location with the changeover from the Powerhouse Gym to an Xsport Fitness Gym. The business expanded rapidly across Chicagoland with the 24-hour fitness format, and competed with Bally’s and Gold’s Gym — both which went out of business locally. Xsport Fitness eventually expanded to Virginia/Washington D.C. and New York, and in 2019 open its 40th gym in Addison, Illinois.
The Xsport Fitness “south gym” survived an attempt by the Village of Arlington Heights to entice Target to build a Super Target at the Xsport’s location while developing a tax-increment (TIF) financing district at the location. The TIF district included the entire International Plaza shopping center in 2002. Several small businesses and Xsport Fitness opposed the development because it meant the end of their businesses or interruption of their businesses with difficult relocation processes.
An employee at Xsport in 2003 said that the Village of Arlington Heights offered to help Xsport find a new location, but Xsport wasn’t interested. In response, the Village of Arlington Heights researched other fitness companies for the purpose of creating their interest in the TIF district or nearby area, and to create leverage to encourage Xsport to move out of their location. In their effort, the employee said, someone representing the Village of Arlington Heights contacted Capital Fitness, Inc. in Big Rock, Illinois to encourage an opportunity to open a gym in the area of Golf Road and Arlington Heights Road. Capital Fitness, Inc. operates Xsport Fitness, and it’s possible the person that was representing the Village of Arlington Heights didn’t know Capital Fitness, Inc. operated Xsport Fitness.
In a lawsuit filed against the Village of Arlington Heights, Capital Fitness, Inc., — the signer in the middle of an 11-year lease with the Arlin-Golf owners of International Plaza — failed to prove that the Village of Arlington Heights improperly adopted a tax increment financing (TIF) district that included the under-rented and blighted shopping center. The attempt to develop the property in the TIF district eventually failed, and the shopping center has been in disrepair since being considered blighted since 2002.
Prior to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, plans were initiated to consider a TIF district once again for the area in 2017. Currently the area is extremely blighted with large potholes, broken windows, lack of landscaping maintenance, and the majority of spaces are not rented. In summer 2020, unmaintained landscaping and tall prairie grass and weed conditions were observed at the front entrance to Xsport Fitness Arlington South.
It’s no wonder with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic financial stress on all gyms, an extremely blighted shopping center, and a possible upcoming TIF district disruption that Capital Fitness, Inc. decided to close down the Xsport Fitness Arlington Heights South location.
According to Dun & Bradstreet the annual revenue for Capital Fitness, Inc. in 2018 was $44.56 million.
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