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Northbrook Park District Hopes to Buy Five Seasons Club

The 115,000-square-foot sports club would be turned into a community recreation center if voters approve a referendum in November.

The Northbrook Park District hopes to buy the Five Seasons Family Sports Club in order to turn it into a community recreation center. The board is expected to vote to put the process in motion at its meeting Thursday night.

The purchase of the club and a 99-year-lease on an 18-acre parcel of land it sits on on Techny Road would cost $20.3 million and would be contingent on voters approving the purchase in a referendum in November, explained Ann Ziolkowski, the Park District’s marketing and communications direction.

The club would likely need some renovations, which would add to the total cost. Ziokowski said the $5 million cost of the land lease would be paid for by park district reserves. Voters would need to weigh in on the $15.3 building purchase price tag plus any extra funds needed to renovate the space.

The district plans to hold a series of public meetings, some at Five Seasons, to gauge public interest in different possible plans for the space.

Ziolkowski says that based on two previous resident surveys, she expects that an indoor track will be a high priority, as will a place for fitness classes like yoga and Zumba. Residents have also been eager for more outdoor open space, and the roughly half of the 18-acre parcel that’s wooded could get trails and walking paths.

Ziolkowski said the public meetings will likely start in mid-May with the board deciding on the final dollar amount to put to voters by August.

Five Seasons approached the district about two years ago to see if it would be interested in purchasing the club, Ziolkowski said, but the discussions were kept confidential.

What do you think about this proposal? Would you support buying the sports club?

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S.F. April 11, 2014 at 07:59 AM
The fact is there is no facility in town which is used by everyone. This is a decent facility which will require updating as you would expect of any failed business. My question is it being purchased at a significant discount vs. what it would cost to build a replacement facility. If the answer is yes, then move forward and make the deal and in time the facility will be utilized.
junefox April 11, 2014 at 07:28 PM
The place will do great as soon as the NBK Park district gets new exercise equipment & new employees. They will need new pool chairs also. Its a great club and if they would have updated the equipment and had helpful, friendly employees they would have done better. Plus their contracts and steep monthly fees did them in.
Ed60062 April 11, 2014 at 10:39 PM
Yes, it is difficult to make a go of it without sufficient demand and without government/taxpayer funding. Looks like a bail-out is on the way.
ken Jenti May 30, 2014 at 08:08 PM
This place is a failed business because it is expensive and not at a good location. There are also similar facilities such as NBK YMCA, facility at the GLEN in Glenview, and facility on Lakecook and Waukegan in Deerfield. Do we expect the park district run this better than a private business and be fair to all residents. The price tag of $20 million is a small number and we should not burden residents with this cost. This belongs to something that we want but not need. NBK park district should work with with YMCA to improve or expand its facilities.

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