Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Retired Bear Shaun Gayle plans to build West Side Chicago gym - News - Crain's Chicago Business

Take a look on Google Maps.  Lots of empty space and a quick commute to the loop.

(Crain’s) — Former Chicago Bear Shaun Gayle plans to build a 25,000-square-foot gym in East Garfield Park, betting that the low-income West Side neighborhood is positioned for a rebound.

The one-story athletic facility on the 2800 block of West Taylor Street, which would cost nearly $1.3 million, would be home to training classes, competitive leagues and various other recreational programs for youth and adults, according to a city of Chicago staff report about the project.

A city development panel on Tuesday agreed to sell Mr. Gayle’s venture several empty city-owned properties on Taylor and Arthington streets for $108,000 for a building and 40 parking spaces.

Mr. Gayle’s challenge will be attracting people to the gym. East Garfield Park, which has seen little in the way of new building for decades, is something of an island now, says Scott Maesel, executive managing director in the Chicago office Sperry Van Ness LLC.

“If he is successful, he could start other development, but it’s a bold and pioneering move at this stage,” Mr. Maesel says.

Retired Bear Shaun Gayle plans to build West Side Chicago gym - News - Crain's Chicago Business

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