Thursday, April 9, 2009

Genesis Health Club On Track With Plans For Salina Fitness, Tennis Center

“The owner of Genesis Health Clubs of Wichita and his architect have met with Salina planning officials concerning plans to turn a former shopping center at Ninth and Cloud streets into a fitness center and indoor tennis facility. The two sides are close to finalizing the architectural and design plan for the site, and construction on the project could begin within 30 to 60 days, owner Rodney Steven said. He said he still plans on Genesis being open in Salina before the end of the year. ‘We've been getting positive phone calls from people there in Salina, people eager to have a nice health club to work out at, and who are calling interested in working for us,’ Steven said. ‘I'm just telling them we're working through some design issues.’ To accommodate the five indoor tennis courts and pro shop planned for the Salina Genesis club, Steven's plans call for expanding the building by some 30,000 square feet. The shopping center in the past has housed an ALCO store and Office Depot. Current building tenants Big Lots and Harbor Freight are scheduled to remain in their present locations. City planners have given Genesis options to consider to accommodate the expansion without exceeding the city's distance setback requirements from the property line, said Deputy City Manager Michael Schrage. What Genesis is proposing to do with their renovation and expansion is covered by existing commercial zoning for the property. ‘There isn't any public approval required,’ said Dean Andrew, Salina's director of planning and community development. Once the site plan is approved, the city will issue a building permit and the project can get started, Andrew said. In December, Steven announced his company's plans for a health and fitness club in Salina. This week he reaffirmed that the economy isn't standing in the way of the plan going forward. Genesis has four Wichita locations and one in Hutchinson. Its clubs include cardiovascular workout equipment, Pilates and yoga classes, locker rooms, smoothie bars, pro shops and a wide variety of classes free with membership. ‘We knew when we purchased the facility that this wasn't going to be the best of times (economically),’ Steven said. ‘But we never even altered our plans.’”

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