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Hempstead appeals board OKs old Fortunoff site for health club

A rendering of the three-story fitness complex and

A rendering of the three-story fitness complex and parking garage at the former Fortunoff's Clearance Center building, on 750 Zeckendorf Blvd. in Garden City. Credit: Zeckendorf LLC

The Hempstead Town Board of Appeals has granted unanimously special exceptions and variances that would make way for a family-geared fitness complex on the site of the former Fortunoff’s Clearance Center property in Garden City.

The redevelopment project is a joint venture between two real estate developers, the Garden City-based Engel Burman Group and Woodmere-based Basser-Kaufman, which bought the property six months ago. The two will sign a long-term lease with Life Time Fitness, a Chanhassen, Minn.-based operator of 106 fitness centers in the United States and Canada, including the Life Time Athletic center on Robbins Lane in Syosset.

The appeals board approval on Nov. 20 -- the same day as the uneventful public hearing -- will allow the construction of a three-story fitness complex and four-story parking garage, on 750 Zeckendorf Blvd. in Garden City. The 7.68-acre parcel, next door to Lowe’s, has been vacant for 10 years after Fortunoff closed its doors.

The plan calls for demolishing the existing 187,000-square-foot structure and constructing a 130,000-square-foot building with an expected opening date in spring 2015. The site, close to to the Roosevelt Field mall and the Meadowbrook State Parkway, would have 669 parking spaces for, more than the 651 required.

The members-only facility would feature weightlifting and cardio equipment, fitness classes, a children’s recreation area, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, indoor basketball court, a restaurant, outdoor cafe, and a spa and salon.

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