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International Mall-based fitness resort plans shaping up

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Published:   |   Updated: April 24, 2013 at 08:38 AM
TAMPA -

International Plaza may soon see a fitness resort developed at the mall, potentially with a massive gym, basketball courts, full service spa with Botox and manicures, and programs for kids while the parents work out.

In all, the Life Time Fitness complex could represent a multi-million dollar project that stretches to 50,000 square feet — roughly half the size of a Walmart Supercenter — that is physically attached to the mall.

The project is in very preliminary stages, but officials with Minnesota-based Life Time have set up meetings with Tampa officials to sketch out potential issues involved in moving forward.

“We are certainly in stark contrast to most gyms that are a big box full of equipment,” company spokeswoman Natalie Bushawsaid. “The goal is to create the right experience for anyone to reach their objectives, whether it’s weight loss, improved athletic ability or anything else for a healthy lifestyle.”

A host of details are yet to be worked out, or remain confidential. Life Time officials said discussions are preliminary, though they did confirm they envision a site at the International Plaza address, and one attached to the main structure, which raises the prospect of the gym taking the place of the former Robb & Stucky space.

Life Time is a publicly traded company, founded in 1992, headquartered in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, with more than $1 billion in yearly revenue, 20,000-plus employees and 105 Life Time Fitness and Life Time Athletic centers nationwide, including nine former Lifestyle centers.

The company’s full-size fitness lifestyle centers cater to a family’s entire experience, Bushaw said. Besides the gyms, there are typically basketball courts with training from former NBA players, a restaurant, full-size spa with manicures and pedicures, lap pools, and outdoor pools with waterslides.

The child care centers typically part of the projects have academic programs like Spanish immersion classes, kid’s Zoomba classes, and arts and crafts projects. The site in Tampa would be a more compact version and so might not have a pool component, though those details are yet to be worked out.

Membership prices vary from market to market, but a club that recently opened in a suburb of Birmingham, Ala., ranges from $83 per month for an individual to $183 per month for a family.

International Plaza officials had no comment on the potential project. City of Tampa documents confirm a meeting with building code and compliance officials at Life Time. City of Tampa Director of Planning and Development Thom Snelling confirmed that they have a “Preliminary Plan Review” meeting scheduled regarding the potential project for May 15, but he had no other details about the company’s plans.


rmullins@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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