Former LA Fitness in Naperville could become outpatient medical facility    

Depiction of proposed medical facility for former LA Fitness building in Naperville
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The former LA Fitness facility within Naperville’s mixed-use Freedom Commons development could become an outpatient medical facility, based on a recent proposal submitted to city officials.

For nearly a decade-and-a-half, LA Fitness operated out of a 45,000-square foot building at 1836 Freedom Drive. The operation shuttered a little more than a year ago, and the 5.08-acre site has since been vacant.

Advocate Health to operate proposed medical facility

Several representatives with the project provided an overview of the proposal at a Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Wednesday, April 3. Commissioners gave a positive recommendation to the proposal, and it now is advancing to the decision-making city council.

CHP-HSG Naperville LLC is the official petitioner of the project and is seeking municipal approvals for modifications — most of it focused on the interior.

Dan Ahlering is a partner with Capital Healthcare Properties, a Chicago-based real estate firm that touts itself as readying sites for the next generation of the ever-evolving field of healthcare.

“We believe that this will be a case study for future healthcare adaptive reuse, not only in Illinois, but throughout the country,” Ahlering said in his pitch to commissioners.

Based on the plans in motion, Advocate Health Care is slated to be the sole occupant of the facility, once it is up and running. Services all would be outpatient, Ahlering said, meaning no overnight stays.

A range of services is envisioned out of the operation, including cardiac care, prep and post recovery services, clinician offices and lab and imaging services. A drop-off area for ambulatory providers also is included in the plans.

If all goes as planned, Ahlering indicated construction could begin in the fourth quarter of this year. Advocate could begin serving patients at the facility in early 2026.

Interior, exterior to get a spruce up 

Since the LA Fitness facility is still a relatively new building, representatives with the project have indicated most of the exterior work will be cosmetic touch-ups, including new landscaping, as well a few modifications to meet the outpatient facility’s needs.

The interior, however, will be overhauled to accommodate the clinic’s various operations.

“The building will be renovated using high-end materials and innovative design, creating a Class A medical outpatient facility,” said Atty. Peter Friedman with local law firm Elrod Friedman LLP. The firm is representing the petitioner in the land acquisition.

City staff, commissioners back plan

During deliberations, commissioners and city staff alike backed the project plans.

“I think that the building looks very nice,” Manas Athanikar, chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said. “It looks like a nice development.”

Community Planner Anna Franco said the proposal had to go before commissioners because it represents a “major change” to the technical documents on file at city hall that are linked to the broader site.

When the broader Freedom Commons site was platted out, a planned unit development — or PUD — document was assembled to map out the 160,000-square-foot, 24-acre property.

In totality, the Freedom Commons PUD encompasses 13 buildings that serve a variety of uses, including retail, restaurant, medical and financial uses. The LA Fitness site had a specific “fitness” designation within the PUD, meaning an amendment to the document is necessary.

Image courtesy: Naperville Medical Commons; Capital Healthcare Properties, Antunovich Associates, Hitchcock Design Group

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