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Life Time Fitness Begins Demolition In Harrison

HARRISON, N.Y. – Life Time Fitness began its move into Harrison with a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday highlighted by construction equipment ripping into and tearing apart the 39-year-old former Journal News building .

“We are excited about our expansion in the New York market and the opportunity to bring our unique, family-oriented healthy way of life destination to the Harrison community,” said Jeff Zwiefel, executive vice president and chief of operations.

With 105 facilities throughout North America, the Harrison branch of Life Time Fitness will be one of the largest. It is expected to be completed by spring 2014. The two-story, 209,000-square-foot facility will have more than 400 pieces of state-of-the-art exercise equipment plus indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a spa, a children’s center, a cafe, a rock-climbing wall, and much more.

The event was filled with speeches from local and franchise officials, including Harrison Supervisor Ron Belmont, who called Life Time Fitness “a leader in the health club industry” and a business that will enhance the region.

County Executive Rob Astorino said Life Time Fitness was “an American success story” and thanked the company for believing and investing in Westchester. Life Time Fitness will purchase exercise machines with tax-exempt financing from the Westchester Industrial Development Agency . As a result, it will save $2 million over five years on the equipment.

“It’s hard to say if that many pounds will be shed, but we know that Life Time will be making their clients a lot healthier, a lot slimmer and a lot more muscular,” Astorino said.

He added that Life Time Fitness will bring an estimated $100 million to the county’s economy in its first three years. It will also provide 350 construction jobs over the next 15 months and more than 250 part-time and full-time jobs when it opens, said Jason Thunstrom, vice president for corporate communications.

Membership to the fitness center will most likely cost $130 a month for an individual and “in the high 200s” for a family, Thunstrom said.

“If you consider today what it costs for a family of four to go to a movie and then realize for a monthly fee of that sort, we’re actually doing good for our bodies, it’s a great investment,” he said. Thunstrom added that payments are on a monthly basis, which he said makes the company accountable.

“The accountability that it creates for our team of 250 people is incredible,” he said. “If I disappoint you, if I don’t deliver on a commitment that I made to you when you chose to join, you’re done. Life Time’s been that way from day one. We’ve had a thriving business as a result, and it’s demonstrative really of the idea that if you do what’s right for the customer first, the success will come.”

Demolition of the building will most likely take 60 days, followed by a 12- to 14-month construction schedule, and a grand opening ceremony in the middle of 2014.

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