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Retail Roundup: More crunch time for fitness on Long Island

Crunch Fitness will add four to six more gyms here this year, while Planet Fitness will add two new locations, officials said. 

A Crunch Fitness gym is planned in space

A Crunch Fitness gym is planned in space formerly occupied by Big Al's Family Fitness in Amityville. Photo Credit: Crunch Fitness / Lisa Haefner

Long Island’s gym boom isn't letting up anytime soon.

In the last year, I’ve written about 20 planned or recent gym openings in the area.  

At least five more are headed this way this year.

Crunch Fitness, which "will be all over Long Island," will add four to six more gyms here this year, including locations in Lake Grove and Amityville, said Carolyn Nurnberg Spungin, spokeswoman for the Manhattan-based chain.  There are two Crunch franchises here now.

The new 31,000-square-foot Lake Grove gym will open in a former Bally Total Fitness space in DSW Plaza, 3174 Middle Country Rd., in mid-summer, said Rocco Balzano, franchise co-owner. 

Also this year a Crunch will open in combined space it is taking from the former Big Al's Family Fitness, 104 Merrick Rd. in Amityville, and some space next door, said Russel Helbling, a senior vice president at Garden City-based Sabre Real Estate Group, which marketed the Big Al's property. 

"The Amityville club will be about 32,000 square feet, and ... will be operated [by] the Breslau family, who also own West Babylon and Bellmore Crunch locations," Spungin said.

Crunch's gym numbers since 2013 have quadrupled — to more than 300 gyms, 90 percent of which are franchises, in the United States and four other countries.

Over in Lawrence, a Planet Fitness will be taking a portion of space, 20,120 square feet, formerly occupied by an Office Max in Falcaro’s Plaza on Burnside Avenue, said Kristen Moore, spokeswoman for Brixmor Property Group, the Manhattan-based owner of the Lawrence shopping center.  

“We expect the Lawrence location to open by the end of the year,” said Becky Zirlen, spokeswoman for Hampton, New Hampshire-based Planet Fitness Inc.  

The chain, which has 15 locations on Long Island, also will open a gym in Stony Brook this year, which I've already reported. 

The increase in gym numbers nationwide is being fueled in part by growing consumer demand and customers' willingness to visit different types of facilities, said Meredith Poppler, spokeswoman for IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, based in Boston.

"Many people frequent many different types of gyms …  say, a yoga studio on Monday, a boot camp facility on Wednesday, a boxing gym on Friday," she said.

Also, with the closings of so many stores due to online retail competition in recent years, many commercial landlords are courting gyms, restaurants and other tenants that aren’t hurt by online competitors.

Retail Roundup is a column about major retail news on Long Island — store openings, closings, expansions, acquisitions, etc. — that is published online and in the Monday paper. To read more of these columns, click here. If you have news to share, please send an email to Newsday reporter Tory N. Parrish at tory.parrish@newsday.com.

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