Planet Fitness expansion plans answer Long Island’s retail vacancies

Gym chain to open six locations this year, nearly doubling presence in five years

Planet FItness' Chris Rondeau with 177 Old Country Road (Planet Fitness, Google Maps)
Planet FItness' Chris Rondeau with 177 Old Country Road (Planet Fitness, Google Maps)

Long Island residents are up in the gym just working on their fitness. The proliferation of a discount chain is their witness.

Planet Fitness is poised to continue its expansion via retail vacancies across Long Island this year, opening six new locations in 2022, Newsday reported. Several have already opened, while more are on tap for the coming months.

The chain has increased its reach across Long Island in the last few years, despite the pandemic’s hit on the gym industry. In April 2019, the company had 17 locations on Long Island. It’s now up to 26, a small percentage of the nearly 2,300 gyms it has in North America and Australia.

Planet Fitness has signed up for the fourth largest amount of space among retail tenants since the start of last year, Brandon Svec, national director of U.S. retail analytics at the CoStar Group, told the outlet.

Most of the company’s new or relocated spaces on Long Island come up just short of 20,000 square feet. In Carle Place, a gym moved to 18,000 square feet at Carle Place Commons, taking some space vacated by Toys ‘R’ Us five years ago.

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In Patchogue, Planet Fitness and Giunta’s Meat Farms are partnering to split space formerly occupied by Pathmark at 399 Route 12. The gym opened in June and occupies about 17,000 square feet. In another gym/grocery split, Planet Fitness opened a 21,000-square-foot space in West Babylon Town Center in July, sharing a property with Lidl.

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There’s more on tap, too.

A 15,000-square-foot location is expected to open in Merrick Commons in a couple of weeks. A 17,000-square-foot location will open by the end of the year in Plainview’s Manetto Hill Plaza, where a Fairway Market grocery store once operated. And a 16,000-square-foot gym is coming to the Syosset Shopping Center next month.

After the industry was hit with a 25 percent decline in gym locations in the wake of the pandemic, Rick Caro, president of a fitness trade group, told the outlet high-volume, low-price gyms like Planet Fitness are recovering from the pandemic’s ravages faster than other companies in the field.

— Holden Walter-Warner