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Lakeshore Athletic Clubs Faces Uncertain Future

CHICAGOLakeshore Athletic Clubs, a fixture in the Chicago fitness scene since 1972, could be forced to close after not paying the mortgages on some of its clubs.

A $26.9 million foreclosure lawsuit was filed in April in Cook County (IL) Circuit Court claiming that a venture owned by Lakeshore founders Walter and Jordon Kaiser has not made a monthly mortgage payment of $135,000 on its 120,000-square-foot Illinois Center club since September. Details of the lawsuit were reported by Crain's Chicago Business.

The venture also began falling behind on payments on a $33.5 million loan for its Lincoln Park club last summer and has not paid the mortgage for that club since August, reports Crain's, citing data compiled by Bloomberg LP.

As of press time, Lakeshore Athletic Clubs did not respond for comment.

Lakeshore Centre Holdings LLC, parent company of Lakeshore Athletic Clubs, has closed two of its Chicago clubs in recent years — one club that closed in September 2007 after its lease expired and a 56,351-square-foot club at McClurg Court Center in May 2009. Five months prior to the recent closing, the company settled an eviction lawsuit that alleged more than $250,000 in rent was unpaid, Crain's reported. At the time of the closing, Walter Kaiser said that the company planned to focus on the clubs that it owned.

Lakeshore Athletic Clubs has consistently appeared in Club Industry's annual Top 100 Clubs list. Last year, it ranked No. 27 with reported 2008 revenue of $41.8 million. The year before, Lakeshore ranked No. 42 but there was a clerical error relating to its revenue. The company generated close to $47 million in 2007, which would have placed it 25th on the 2008 list.

In 2007, Lakeshore reported it had 1,265 employees. In 2008 and 2009, the company reported 950 employees.

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