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Planet Fitness May Be Coming to Reading

The gym would like to open on Salem Street.

Planet Fitness is working with the town of Reading to open a fitness center at 275 Salem Street, adjacent to REI and Dunkin Donuts.

If everything goes according to plan, the fitness center will be 17,320 square feet and feature workout equipment, locker rooms and a tanning area. The membership fee will be $10 per month.

Planet Fitness is the industry leader in low cost, high value fitness facilities, VP of Operations for North Shore Fit Management Taylor Mandell said. 

According to Mandell, they are still in the permitting process for the Reading location, but hope to open in February of 2013.

As soon as the CPDC approves their site plan review, then they can obtain the building permit. After a meeting on Monday, the CPDC asked for a traffic movement study "that would assess how the parking lot would operate when it's roughly 85 percent full," Reading Staff Planner Jessie Wilson said. 

Their primary issue is the concern for safety and how movements in the parking lot would impact safety, she said. Mandell will have to hire a traffic engineer to look at that before their next meeting on Nov. 26.

Once the site plan review is approved by the CPDC, they will need a building permit and a permit from the Board of Health for their tanning area.

Once these permits are obtained, they can begin construction. They plan to make a few changes to the interior and improve the storefront, according to their plans. Take a look at their storefront rendering here.

Check in with us for more information on Planet Fitness. 

Whitney November 09, 2012 at 10:06 PM
A dramatic improvement from a vacant building -- and formerly the RMV! The parking lot was a nightmare when RMV occupied. I'm sure PLANET FITNESS customers will be much more respectful. Great news!
Donna November 09, 2012 at 10:46 PM
I believe the Town of Reading is making a mistake regarding this gym. There are currently 3 gyms in Reading. The RAC, is a great gym always with the community in mind. They have food pantry drives, fund raisers, and employ Reading residents. The YMCA is another gym with the communit in mind. Finally, Elite Fitness Is owned by a Reading resident and also is committed to the community. Putting a franchise like this in the area is taking away from out community. When Stop and Shop and Market Basket came into the area, the Atlantic went out of business. When Home Depot came into town, the local hardware store on Haven went out of business. I don't agree with this decision and wish the town would reconsider.
Donna November 09, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I know the building has been vacant for a long time, however, the traffic on Salem street is extremely congested during the ours when commuters are trying to get to work, and parents are trying to get to school..also the busiest time for a gym. The parking lot will be a disaster and the traffic as well. I think a 9-5 retail shop would do better.
Rob November 10, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Donna, who are you to say we have enough gyms? Or that having food pantry drives should make you exempt from competition. This is America, right.
Donna November 10, 2012 at 03:02 AM
My point is that as a community that needs to be strengthened by business, when there are several of the same services, while it is nice to have choice, it defeats the purpose. I like the fact that Elite Fitness and the RAC are focused on local issues and the community, this is a franchise, I note that you could call the Y a franchise as well. Something different, there is that consignment shop that took over the old Caleresso's boutique shops in town, restaurants that have different cuisine. I'm just saying something different.
Richard W. Kendall November 10, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Planet Fitness appears to be an exciting choice on many levels. The franchise allows individuals to participate in affordable fitness, Certainly the YMCA is cost prohibitive to the average person. Regarding contributing to the community, I think that they should be allowed to open and see how the franchise chooses to participate in community affairs. I know that the Wilmington Planet Fitness collected warm coats for distribution one recent winter. Additionally, they had a food drive whereby can goods and non- perishable items were gathered for a local food pantry. Let's support any new business in Reading and hopefully they will participate in community affairs. Thank you, Attorney Rich Kendall North Reading
JD November 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I was reading online that these gyms don't have barbells. Is that possible?
Richard W. Kendall November 11, 2012 at 06:51 PM
They do have barbells and dumb bells but they limit the weight on the dumb bells. Think that they stop at 85 pounds. Planet Fitness makes a concerted effort NOT to cater to the body builder crowd. They don't allow loud grunting and groans which seems to consistent with the power lifting/ body building crowd.
Eileen November 12, 2012 at 02:20 PM
The parking lot is a nightmare now and 275 Salem Street is empty. During Dunkin' Donuts' peak hours and REI sales we already have customers parking on our side streets. What will happen during peak Planet Fitness peak hours? It is also extremely difficult to enter and exit Salem Street during morning and evening commuting times which will be peak hours for Planet Fitness as well. The entrance/exit into the Dunkin Donuts parking area is extremely dangerous and poorly designed. Although there is a pedestrian cross walk near the main plaza entrance, cars seldom stop. It is not safe to cross Salem Street without additional safety measures being put in place like a pedestrian traffic light. It is vital for the the Town and and any proposed business to ensure residents, commuters, and pedestrian safety. Until this is done, I don't think any substantial business should be put in place at 275 Salem Street.
Beefstick November 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I think it's an interesting use for that facility. Was hoping for a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, but apparently neither wants to open there b/c it's too close to their other franchises. 275 Salem Street is a decent size, right? How about a ten pin bowling alley with a bar?
Emily M November 13, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Where is the nearest WF? I know there's one going into the Lynnfield development but other than that, where's the closest one? Bedford? I haven't been to WF in about 6 years.
David November 24, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Donna, Planet Fitness is only $10 per month. The RAC and YMCA are much more expensive. Just because you can afford RAC doesn't mean the rest of us can.

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