Fitness center planned

Published 9:30 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Planet Fitness is planned as the new anchor for a struggling shopping center on East Constance Road.

Ken and Sharree Ryder bought the shopping center at 569 E. Constance Road in January. It is the location of the former Fresh Pride grocery store, which closed in May 2014.

The Ryders are experienced Planet Fitness franchisees. The Suffolk location will be their 10th one in Hampton Roads.

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“We make a pretty high-traffic anchor tenant,” Ken Ryder said after Wednesday’s Economic Development Authority meeting, where a façade grant of $10,000 was approved to help improve the frontage of the building. “From every indicator, it looks like Suffolk is a perfect candidate for our business model.”

Anthony Cataldo of Cataldo Builders told the authority that planned improvements include the entire frontage of the building, including where Aaron’s and Family Dollar are located. A yellow metal awning will be placed over Planet Fitness, and the windows on the building will be centered and improved.

An outparcel of approximately 5,000 square feet, ideal for a restaurant, is also planned, Cataldo said.

The entire project, save for the outparcel, should be completed by fall, Cataldo added.

Ryder said Planet Fitness memberships are $10 per month, and the facility is open and staffed around the clock.

“It’s a very attractive price point,” he said.

A land transfer report shows a purchase price of $1.2 million for the property.