Elk Grove buys strip club, surrounding parcels for $6.2M

Sets stage for redevelopment of area off Jane Addams Tollway

Chicago Suburb Elk Grove Buys Strip Club, Nearby Sites for $6.2M
Elk Grove Mayor Craig Johnson with the parcel of land on Elmhurst Road in Elk Grove Village, IL (Google Maps, Elk Grove Village)

Elk Grove Village has opened the door for future redevelopment after acquiring an assemblage of properties, including a strip club that’s been a point of contention between Mayor Craig Johnson and the club’s late owner.

The northwest suburb bought the Heavenly Bodies genetlemen’s club on Elmhurst Road and four surrounding parcels, totaling 2.77 acres, for $6.15 million, with plans to annex the club into the village, the Daily Herald reported. The price was over $2.2 million per acre. The other sites include a closed Burger King, a Marathon gas station and parking lots.

For 20 years, Johnson maintained an informal agreement with Heavenly Bodies’ owner, Michael Wellek, who died recently. The deal: stop using Elk Grove Village’s name in the club’s radio advertisements, and the club wouldn’t be annexed into the town. The advertisements persisted, though, despite the club being located just outside village limits.

Heavenly Bodies is set to close shortly after the sale is finalized on June 17. After that, the village plans to demolish the structures. While specific redevelopment plans have not been determined, the acquisition gives the village control over a key entry point into the community.

“Now with the full Elmhurst interchange, that corner is the first main corner after you get off the Jane Addams Tollway,” Johnson told the outlet. “That can and will become a prominent corner when you’re coming into the village.”

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Elk Grove Village is no stranger to acquiring properties to steer future development. For instance, it spent more than $17 million of taxpayer money to assemble the real estate needed for redevelopment of Elk Grove Woods Plaza, the village’s oldest shopping center. Last year, officials chose Wingspan Development Group to spearhead the project. 

This strategy allows Elk Grove Village to have more sway over the nature and pace of redevelopment projects within its boundaries. 

The village board will vote on ordinances to annex Heavenly Bodies, as the Burger King and gas station properties are already within village limits. 

—Quinn Donoghue

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