Part of a strip mall that has been left "deliberately vacant" in Lombard is set to come down next spring to make way for a new LA Fitness.
The eastern portion of the High Point Centre is slated for demolition next year by Brixmor Property Group, which owns the land at 541-581 Roosevelt Road.
Bill Heniff, Lombard's community development director, said Brixmor plans to raze the eastern half of the expansive strip center and replace it with a 34,000-square-foot building for the fitness center and a renovated 5,400-square-foot outlot with a drive-through and patio seating that could be suitable for restaurants.
"This is the first phase of what could be a significant redevelopment," Heniff said.
The village board unanimously approved the necessary changes to the High Point Centre development plan last week.
The project aims to modernize the appearance of the shopping area, which was built in the 1980s with many of its stores facing a large interior parking area instead of Roosevelt Road itself.
In a memo to the village's plan commission, Brixmor officials said that layout led to "a high rate of turnover and shop vacancy."
Heniff said the company purposely let many of the spaces in the eastern side of the development remain vacant when leases came due in order to begin planning for the facelift. Notable retailers that remain open on both sides of the High Point Centre include Office Depot, Jo-Ann Fabric and David's Bridal.
Brixmor spokeswoman Kristen Moore said four buildings totaling 31,000 square feet will be torn down early next year. A fifth building that used to house Pearle Vision will be turned into a 5,400-square-foot space that will be advertised to restaurant tenants.
Moore said the work will upgrade facades on the east side and reconfigure parking and traffic circulation on the High Point Centre site. But it will not affect any of the lanes of traffic on Roosevelt Road. The company plans to begin constructing the new LA Fitness once demolition is complete in hopes of opening it in mid-2019.
"I definitely think it's a sign of good things to come," Heniff said.
The health club is expected to serve as a catalyst for further redevelopment at High Point Centre, Moore said. Brixmor is exploring redevelopment options for the west side of the center, where stores also face the parking lot instead of the road.