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Demolition To Begin For Harrison Fitness Center

HARRISON, N.Y. – Demolition begins Wednesday in Harrison with a special groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a future Life Time Fitness center. The event will feature speeches from local elected officials and representatives of the Minnesota-based franchise.

Equipment will “rip into the building” Wednesday to mark the beginning of the demolition, though it is not known whether official demolition will begin Wednesday or next week.

For 39 years, the Journal News called 1 Gannett Drive home, but Life Time Fitness now owns the building and is looking to transforming the site. It is being billed as the “region’s most advanced and expansive fitness center,” a written statement said.

"It’s a massive place,” said Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont, who will speak along with County Executive Rob Astorino. “I think it’s six tennis courts, three swimming pools, two full-sized gyms, exercise rooms.”

Life Time's Harrison health club will be one of the largest of its more than 105 North American facilities, said a spokesman for NAI James E. Hanson, the New Jersey-based commercial real estate firm that represented Life Time Fitness in buying the building. NAI Hanson has also worked on three other fitness centers with the company.

The site was selected because of its “size, location, access and the area demographics,” NAI Hanson Senior Vice President Kenneth D. Lundberg said in a statement.

The 207,000-square-foot family recreation center was approved after the Town of Harrison and Life Time Fitness came to an agreement in June. Construction will begin in the first half of next year, and the facility is scheduled to open at the end of 2014.

Life Time Fitness attorney Frank McCullough called it "more than just a gym."

“I think it’s going to have a regional impact," he said. "It will not only draw people from Harrison but from other areas of Westchester as well. It will generate new taxes, and we anticipate that it will generate revenue for the entire area.”

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