NORMAL (WEEK) – A local economy damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic would get a boost from a new fitness center if it wins approval from Normal’s town government.
Crunch Fitness is planning on opening its sixth gym in Illinois at the Shoppes at College Hills.
Plans filed with Normal’s town government said the company plans to occupy about 43,000 square feet of space in the old Hobby Lobby store, which even longer ago was the Montgomery Ward department store.
There are no proposals right now for the approximately 35,000 square feet of remaining space, according to town staff.
Staffers generally approve the plans despite reservation about larger-than-desired signage. They see the addition as diversifying the potential tenant mix. The staff report said upgrades to the west parking lot would be a “significant aesthetic upgrade” that will be particularly appreciated adjacent to the popular Destihil restaurant.
Two proposed signs are just under 500 square feet, and are planned to be internally lit. The staff noted the signs are much larger than other stores in the development like the new Hobby Lobby store, Target, and Von Maur.
Staffers recommend the Crunch signs be limited to 200 square feet, and that they don’t have an orange background.
The Normal Planning Commission are expected to vote on the plans at its virtual meeting, scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. The town council will have the final say.
On its website, Crunch Fitness said it has more than 300 gyms worldwide, including one in Champaign.