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Life Time Fitness wants to build a 100,000-square-foot gym and health club in North Raleigh, but first the company needs a series of approvals from city leaders.
So the Minnesota chain wants to bring back-up to the inevitable public hearings on the project. It has organized a petition drive to get current members and others to support the new site.
City planner Travis Crane said it’s unusual for a business to submit petitions from its customers during a rezoning process. He said the planning commission is expected to consider the rezoning in the coming months before it moves to the city council.
“There are a number of hurdles still to cross there,” said Jason Thunstrom, vice president of communications for Life Time.
Life Time is eyeing a site on Falls of Neuse Road, just south of Interstate 540. The center would be the company’s third in Raleigh and its largest by far. Offerings would include a spa, cafe, multiple pools and basketball courts, child-care facilities and dedicated classrooms for programs including yoga and pilates.
“These are massive, comprehensive developments,” Thunstrom said. “What you’ve got is a full-scale health and wellness resort.”
Life Time has a similar center in Cary, but its two Raleigh locations – near Triangle Town Center and on Six Forks Road – are smaller gyms bought from another company. Those will stay open, Thunstrom said.
The company has emailed its members in the Triangle, referring them to the online petition. The website says “you can have one of the nation’s leading fitness resources ... if city council members understand you want them to vote yes to allow Life Time Fitness to build a state-of-the-art facility at 8515 Falls of Neuse Road.”
Thunstrom said he didn’t have details on how many have signed on so far. “We felt the council might appreciate hearing directly from some of the consumers in the marketplace there,” he said. “So far we’ve been pleased with the volume of support that we’ve received.”