Planet Fitness will enter the Racine market with an 18,000-square-foot location in the struggling Regency Mall.
The gym will be located on the southwest end of the mall, 5502 Durand Ave., between the Burlington Coat Factory store and h.h.gregg.
[caption id="attachment_132968" align="alignright" width="350"] Rendering of the Planet Fitness planned for Regency Mall in Racine.[/caption]
Planet Fitness will take up about nine existing store spaces, only two of which are active stores right now, said Tim Connolly, project director of Cleveland-based K2M Design.
Connolly, whose firm is working on behalf of Regency Mall owner, CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., said construction on the gym's shell will begin in a few weeks. Planet Fitness will then take over and outfit the building, which will take another three to four months, Connolly said.
Planet Fitness, which will be open 24 hours a day, will not have an exterior entrance, but a security gate will be installed to block off the rest of the mall concourse when the mall is closed, Connolly said.
The Racine plan commission approved the mall’s conditional use plan to allow the gym inside of the mall last week.
Built in 1981, the 810,337-square-foot Regency Mall has struggled for several years to retain quality tenants. Sears closed its 89,119-square-foot store in 2014, and JCPenney did the same the following year, closing its 149,196-square-foot store.
The mall has been able to hold onto its other two anchor stores, the 80,000-square-foot Burlington Coat Factory store and a 105,869-square-foot Boston Store. Ross Dress for Less and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores are also expected to open at the mall in spring.
Connolly believes the addition of Planet Fitness will bring more traffic to the mall, which could lead to more tenants and more retail activity for the existing tenants.
Planet Fitness has 24 locations in Wisconsin, including seven in the Milwaukee area. K2M Design is working on a similar Planet Fitness proposal inside of East Towne Mall in Madison, which has not yet been approved.