OAK FOREST - A car dealership that's been sitting vacant for six years in southwest suburban Oak Forest will be home to an indoor rifle range as early as Spring 2015.
The transformation of Oak Forest's abandoned Community Motors to the Eagle Gun Club will cost the owners about $4 million. One of the two listed owners of the gun club, Omar Ahmad of Palos Park, also owns the PlatinumTel pre-paid cellphone company for low income consumers as well as a food distribution service.
Construction of the gun club is expected to begin in the fall. Ahmad and his associate, Islam Zughayer, hope to open the club for business in the first quarter of 2015. Zughayer, who lives in New York, is Managing Director of Berenson & Company, and formerly worked for Anderson LLP, specializing in corporate restructuring and finance. He also serves as head of Berenstein's Middle East and North African practice.
“The owners have assured us that their operation practices will outperform the standards established by federal regulatory bodies,” Dotson said. “They are going above and beyond to build a safe facility that will be a positive presence in the community.”
The overall response to the gun club from the community has been positive, Dotson told Illinois Review Wednesday.
"We've had nearly 12,000 people visit the city's Facebook page, and at the most five comments have been negative," Community Development Director Adam Dotson said. "Most people are happy to see development in the area, and believe it will help other businesses nearby."
Two buildings and nine acres of land located on 159th Street will be transformed into a private Eagle Gun Club, built to conform to National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation standards. The 30,000 square foot facility will include meeting rooms for conceal/carry classes, safety seminars, instructional sport shooting, and self-defense training. It also will include climate-controlled indoor shooting bays (six long-range, 22 short-range), a bow range, firearm and retail space, a training simulator, a viewing area, a full-service gunsmith shop, and private member lounges.