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Unpaid Electric Bill Leaves Lakeshore Athletic Club In Dark

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Lakeshore Athletic Club

The Lakeshore Athletic Club at 211 N. Stetson Ave. is closed and in the dark due to non-payment of its electric bill. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the largest and most prominent health clubs in Chicago has shut down, because it didn’t pay its electric bill.

ComEd shut off the power on Monday at the Illinois Center branch of the Lakeshore Athletic Club, at 211 N. Stetson Ave. just south of the Aon Center, Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily reported.

A sign on the door said the club was closed due to “electrical and financial problems.” The health club owes ComEd more than $200,000, Crain’s reported.

A notice on the Lakeshore Web site says the club will soon reopen, but “at this time, we cannot definitively give you a date.” The notice offers members “deepest apologies for the inconvenience to your lifestyle this may have caused.”

The notice says members may go to Lakeshore Sport and Fitness at 1320 W. Fullerton Ave. near DePaul University, which until recently was a branch of the same health club chain, but was sold in December 2010 after running into loan trouble, according to Crain’s.

Crain’s reports the Stetson Avenue club is on the brink of closing altogether. It is facing a $26.9 million foreclosure lawsuit after the venture led by brothers Walter and Jordon Kaiser that owns the club quit making loan payments, Crain’s reported. The appraised value of the club is only $7.6 million, the newspaper reported.

Crews are filming “Superman: Man of Steel” on Stetson Avenue just outside the Lakeshore Club, and had been planning to hold a party there Monday evening, Crain’s reported.

Walter and Jordon Kaiser founded the Fullerton Avenue health club in 1972, as the Lakeshore Racquet Club. The original building collapsed in the infamous blizzard of 1979, but a new club opened on the same site later the same year.

Lakeshore later expanded to a total of four locations, including the Stetson Avenue location, previously known as the Athletic Club Illinois Center, which the Kaisers bought in 1998, Crain’s reported. But the other two locations, at 441 N. Wabash Ave. in River North, and at 333 E. Ontario St. in Streeterville, closed in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

The 120,000 square-foot, seven-level Stetson Avenue club features a climbing wall, a basketball court, five squash courts, a running track, a pilates studio, an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, and a rooftop pool, among other amenities.

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