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Planet Fitness: Salvation for old Bi-Lo space

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July 22. The old Salvation Army space in Cornelius, which was the old Bi-Lo grocery store, finally has a tenant. A 25,000 square foot Planet Fitness franchise will go into the space on West Catawba Avenue later this year. Another 15,000 square feet remains to be leased in the shopping center which once housed a Blockbuster Video location and UPS Store as well.

Choplin’s Restaurant and Thai House are neighbors as well as Podium Multisport. The fitness business is in good shape: Statista says it is a $72 billion industry.

“Fitness coming into the general area is a good thing, it gives everyone an opportunity to choose what they’re looking for,” Mike Coursen, manager of Podium Multisport. Podium opened in March.

John Jones, a broker with Gibson Smith Realty, said fitness operations are strong prospects when it comes to repurposing old grocery space in small shopping centers. Gibson Smith brokers the space in Bi-Lo Plaza.

Officials at the main Charlotte Planet Fitness franchise, which has seven locations in Cornelius, could not be reached for comment.

Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations.

It just broke through the 1,000 franchise mark nationwide.

The company is known for a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which they call the Judgment Free Zone.

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