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Trustees Approve New Fitness Center, but Question Profitability for Village, Security

Village Board Members voiced their opinions and concerns at the last board meeting regarding certain aspects of safety and profitability of new occupant Planet Fitness, which is scheduled to take residence in The Plaza later on this year

Trustees raised questions about how the New Hampshire-based fitness franchise will financially benefit the village and its hours of operation.

According to Trustee Jerome Bosch, who is part of the zoning board, "In order for Planet Fitness to come into , they had to apply for a zoning special use permit in [the] commercial district.” Trustees granted that special use permit at the last meeting.

With one fitness center and seasonal exercise classes offered by individual organizations and the village recreation department, Trustees welcomed the idea of another fitness center to Evergreen Park.

However, one concern that Trustees had was the village having a tax-exempt entity, like Planet Fitness, within the newly rezoned taxable district. To make sure the business would financially benefit the village, trustees motioned to consider the fitness center, which will occupy the former Office Depot at The Plaza, a taxable division of the

“They would not be granted tax-exempt status if they sold product,” Bosch noted. “The selling of products at the facility, i.e. supplemental items” that could enhance a members workout are a form of revenue that could generate some funds--which would be deemed profitable for both the Village and The Plaza.

Mayor James Sexton said that the fitness center would not generate as much revenue as a commercial retailer would, but it may encourage spending at , and

“It is what it is. They’re not going to produce as much as a retailer outlet would, but we’re hoping that those that would work out [at the facility] would spend money at the other shops [within The Plaza].”

Concerning security of the proposed 24-hour facility, Sexton said “I did voice some concern, and we took that up with the owner of The Plaza and Planet Fitness.” He said he wanted to assure community members that the new 24-hour accessibility for the center would in no way affect community member’s safety or security.

Trustee Catherine Aparo said that although she does not have a current membership at Planet Fitness, she does however feel that “it is a very nice place, [from what I can tell].”

Aparo took a trip to visit Planet Fitness’ Melrose Park location with other village board members after the

Although it is not clear when construction for the new Planet Fitness will start, Trustees said it will take a lot of work to transform the site into a fitness center. “It’s a major remodeling job,” said Aparo.

“They’re going into an already existing space,” said Aparo, and “I’m not sure how long it will take, but I’m sure they are anxious to get started.”   

Evergreen Park Patch editor Renita Young contributed to this article.

brigid bullington September 02, 2011 at 03:31 PM
It is a shame that the mall no longer contains stores that reflect the needs and tastes of our diverse community. The few stores remaining do not offer products for all consumers that live and would shop in the mall. Why is this? I do not know of any other mall that focuses on one target group of consumers.

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