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Naples Daily News (Florida)
The location on Golden Gate Parkway will be operated by the franchisees who also co-own locations on U.S. 41 in San Carlos Park and Fort Myers. Other area locations in North Fort Myers, Cape Coral and south Fort Myers are owned by different franchisees.
"We expect the Planet Fitness in Naples to open by the end of the year," said Becky Zirlen, senior public relations manager for the fitness chain based in New Hampshire. "The new location will offer state-of-the art cardio and strength equipment, free fitness training and a Black Card Spa, which will include HydroMassage beds, massage chairs and tanning beds/booths for PF Black Card members."
The fitness center chain promotes itself as fostering a welcoming environment that is labeled "the Judgement Free Zone."
"If you are not familiar with Planet Fitness, we cater to first-time and casual gymgoers who may have never belonged to a gym before," Zirlen said. "We always strive for a nonintimidating, judgment-free atmosphere where our members can feel comfortable working out at their own pace. Membership always starts out at $10 a month, or $21.99 a month for the PF Black Card. The Black Card offers the above amenities, the ability to bring a guest for free, and use of any of the 1,500-plus Planet Fitness locations nationwide in all 50 states."
Planet Fitness locations are typically around 20,000 square feet, so the new fitness center in Golden Gate most likely will occupy less than a quarter of the 95,530-square-foot Big Kmart store built in 1992. This last Kmart in Collier County closed in March 2017 when parent company Sears Holdings shuttered scores of stores nationwide.
Neither representatives of Parkway Plaza owner Benderson Development Co. nor property manager Cam Realty of Southwest Florida could be reached for comment regarding what other businesses, if any, may fill the remainder of the discount store vacated last year.
The new Planet Fitness at 4955 Golden Gate Parkway would become the de facto anchor of the local retail center. Because of the Kmart store and a more than 45,000-square-foot Sweetbay supermarket that remains vacant, the majority of the plaza's square footage has been empty. A Dollar Tree store and an Aaron's lease-to-own retailer are the largest tenants among drive-thru restaurants Pollo Tropical and Burger King and a few other eateries and small businesses in the center.
Benderson Development has tapped DK Mullin Architects and JL Stone Construction to redevelop the former Kmart. The contractor is to remove all existing plumbing, ceiling ductwork and tiles, light fixtures and abandoned utilities, according to permit applications filed with the county's Growth Management Department.
All interior partition walls, windows and doors also are to be removed, and the vacated store's concrete slab will be patched, smoothed and prepped for new floor finishes, according to the new architectural plans.
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