Life Time planning fitness, resort facility in Naperville   

Life Time planning fitness, resort facility in Naperville  
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Life Time, a growing Minnesota-based health and wellness business that is in the midst of a rebranding effort, has announced plans of constructing a new facility on currently undeveloped 10.55 acres of land in Naperville.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, May 1, combed through Life Time’s plans for the proposal at the southeast corner of Route 59 and 103rd Street and gave a favorable recommendation to the decision-making city council.

Life Time currently has 168 locations within 36 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. Locally, the company has operations in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, Oak Brook, Skokie and Warrenville.

Rebranding effort underway for Life Time

Within the crowded fitness space, Life Time has been differentiating itself as a higher-end option. The company’s rebranding from Life Time Fitness to Life Time Athletic Resorts was touched on at the recent Naperville meeting.

“Life Time seeks to offer its members a unique experience toward the goal of healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment,” said Russell Whitaker III, a local attorney speaking on behalf of the company, as details were shared with city commissioners.

Whitaker said Life Time likens itself more to a resort and country club than a traditional fitness facility. The Naperville location is expected to operate from 4 a.m. to midnight weekdays and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends.

The company’s list of proposed amenities at the Naperville location includes a full-service spa, beauty salon, café, pool, sauna, steam room, area for cold plunges, physical therapy center and pickleball courts. Also in the mix is a kid’s academy that will offer childcare and educational opportunities.

Rezoning necessary in Naperville

The land Life Time is seeking to build on is under city ownership. For plans to proceed, the property will have to be rezoned from the existing community shopping center district designation to an office, commercial and institutional district classification.

Community Planner Sara Kopinski said city staffers are in favor of the proposal, noting the current state of the property is “vacant and underutilized” with the existing community shopping center district zoning.

Kopinski said the location of Life Time “would provide a good transition between the heavily trafficked Route 59 corridor and surrounding neighborhoods.”

Whitaker in his presentation said Life Time’s proposal is reflective of current commercial real estate trends.

“As we see retail spaces changing, as we see the commercial market changing, I think this again is a trend towards lifestyle-type amenities like restaurants and other experiences where people are really spending their money,” Whitaker said.

Neighbor impact discussed

No one spoke for or against Life Time’s plans for the parcel at the recent commissioners meeting, and no written comments were submitted.

During deliberations, commissioner Manas Athanikar inquired about noise and traffic impact, which were studied before the proposal was presented to city officials.

“At the end of the day, there’s significant ambient sound,” Whitaker said, in response to the query. “All of us know Route 59. Route 59 is extremely loud. We think that the sound generated off of Route 59, is by and large, going to be louder than much of the activity that’s occurring on the property.”

Speaking to the proposal overall, Athanikar praised Life Time for its plans. “I think it’s a nice enhancement,” said Athanikar, who is chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission. “I appreciate the development.”

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