Bronx locals sweating it out over the delay of a much-anticipated Bronx fitness center can breathe easy, said the center’s landlord.
The developer of the building complex where LA Fitness was supposed to open last fall is vowing that the workout chain will — finally! — open by the end of July.
LA Fitness will open in the Hutchinson Metro Center sometime in “the next couple of weeks,” promised Joe Kelleher, president of Simone Metro Properties, the complex’s developer, in an interview.
The building where LA Fitness is opening, a 370,000 square foot complex dubbed ‘The Atrium,’ has received a long-awaited certificate of occupancy from the city Department of Buildings, said Kelleher.
LA Fitness is leasing a 50,000 square foot space in The Atrium, which will also host a Marriott Residence Inn, medical offices, a Dunkin Donuts and some restaurants.
Construction was halted on the massive complex during this year’s especially cold and wet winter. The city approval process was then further delayed through a long wait to get the utilities set up, Kelleher said.
LA Fitness has had its exercise equipment ready for weeks, but had been waiting for the city to clear the building itself, said the developer.
“They wanted to open right away,” he said, “but they could only open as soon as we had the building ready.”
Now LA Fitness is simply filing its final business permits with the city, said Kelleher.
But representatives at LA Fitness itself did not respond to requests to confirm that the location would open by the end of the month.
Locals who signed up for early-bird memberships had been feeling the burn this winter as the LA-based gym chain’s opening was delayed.
Many who purchased memberships at a pop-up location on Eastchester Road had been promised that the complex would open as soon as October 2013.
Peeved neighbors excited to work off the pounds have been venting their disapproval on the branch’s Facebook page.
“LA Fitness needs to compensate those people they conned into buying a membership,” wrote one outraged local. “This is ridiculous!”
“I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW A COMPANY THIS BIG TREATS THEIR NEW MEMBERS LIKE GARBAGE,” seethed another, who said he bought a membership in January 2014 and was promised that the branch would open later that month.
Kelleher said that members’ anger would evaporate as soon as the state-of-the-art center finally opens.
“Everyone will forget about the delays,” he said. “This is the most spectacular gym the Bronx has ever seen. People will realize that it was worth the wait.”