The Windy City Fieldhouse facility in Logan Square, a neighborhood staple that has provided space for families and people of all ages to get active for more than 25 years, will close at the end of August.
Murrel Karsh, co-founder and president of Windy City Fieldhouse Events, said the company and Farpoint Development, the real estate company that owns the property, could not agree on a lease.
Karsh said while he and his partners would have liked to keep the large indoor multi-sports complex at 2637 W. Logan open, it has become increasingly expensive to operate in the city. It will close on August 31, a few months before its 26th birthday in December.
“Unfortunately, due to COVID and other circumstances, the industrial real estate market has exploded in Chicago, driving up prices, which is driving up taxes,” Karsh said. “It’s tough. Those costs keep rising dramatically, and as rent goes up, that means your property taxes go up even more. So the numbers start to get astronomical to the point where it’s impossible to make it work.
Representatives for Farpoint Development did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Karsh reflected on the families and neighbors he has come to know since the site opened in 1997, acknowledging the effect closing the complex will have on those who have come to identify it as a cornerstone of the region.
“We hope that we were able to touch their lives as much as they were able to touch our lives and living in the city, and being there and being healthy and exercising for their children maybe a little bit easier, ” , Karsh said, “It was a great race, and we’re sad to see it come to an end.”
Windy City Fieldhouse is a team building and entertainment company that specializes in corporate events and operates across the country. The sports complex on the northwest side is closing, but nothing else about the business will change, Karsh said.
Thousands of families regularly visit the 55,000 square foot facility – enough space for basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, football, soccer and other sports – to keep their kids active after school.
The facility also hosts personal fitness programs and is a popular birthday party destination for kids. Groups of friends and local leagues have used the courts for friendly matches and more competitive tournaments.
Karsh said they are helping league organizers find other spaces in the city that can host their games, such as the Bradley Fieldhouse at North Center.
Jared Ashe, basketball coach and director of Play Hard Hoops, a program that teaches kids the basics of basketball, said there aren’t many facilities like Windy City that can accommodate youngsters. interested in the program.
“It’s a disappointment for our program and certainly a disappointment in how we can provide great extracurricular and extracurricular activities for children,” Ashe said, adding that parents have expressed to her what the facility has meant. for them over the years.
“There are families and other people who have shared many memories, who have used this space for birthday parties. There is a sense of disappointment,” Ashe said. “There are facilities in other parts of town that are nice, but it just requires families to be able to drive a bit further, it’s just a dampening feeling of what Windy City had provided this place for so long.
Karsh said it’s been an “emotional” few months and hopes that once the doors close he won’t say goodbye forever to the community that has been so good to them.
“It was our baby, we want to make sure people know how much they meant to us, and although we won’t be able to see them on the sports grounds, we hope to see them at one of our picnics. picnics or other events,” Karsh said.
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