Jul. 30—Decatur's fitness industry will expand, with a developer planning to build a small shopping center next to the Aldi grocery store and anchor it with Crunch Fitness.
In addition to the fitness club, the shopping center will have one initial retail space and two others planned on a 5.81-acre Glenn Street Southwest property.
The Planning Commission approved the site plan at its monthly meeting after its presentation by Schoel Engineering on behalf of Justin Allred, of Pierce and Allred Construction, Florence, and Ryan Dalton, of Exclusive Realty. The pair bought the property in June with the help of Shane Odom, of MarMac Commercial Real Estate.
The commission also approved a site plan for a car wash that Tom Bender plans to build on 1.7 acres of Sixth Avenue Southeast, south of Knight Street.
Jake Fry, of Pierce-Allred, said at the Planning Commission meeting that the fitness club is planned for 30,000 square feet with the remaining stores occupying 23,000 square feet.
Fry said the plan is to build one of the retail spaces initially and later add the third and fourth spaces. The fourth space is shown in the site plan as a separate building from the main store spaces.
It is not yet known what stores will join Crunch Fitness in the development, Fry said.
Crunch Fitness, a chain of over 300 franchised fitness clubs located in the United States, Canada and Australia, will be the ninth fitness center/gym in Decatur. Based in New York, the company website lists six clubs in Alabama with two more coming soon. The closest is in Florence.
Crystal Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, said Decatur, with its populations of almost 55,000, is big enough handle a ninth fitness center.
"People are more into health and fitness, and this gives them more options," Brown said. "Each of these fitness centers offers different ways to get fit. They're also located in various parts of the city, so they're very convenient."
Reggie Jackson, a personal trainer who works out of the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center, said he doesn't know how potential customers will view Crunch Fitness. He said it probably will compete directly with Red-X-Fitness and Planet Fitness in the city. He said the company probably did its market research before approving a franchise for Decatur.
"God bless them and good luck," Jackson said. "I'm all for it if they can get people active and off of their butts."
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