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Board approves site plan for fitness center

LA_Fitness_building

Despite some concerns regarding increased street traffic along the segment of Poplar Ave. between S. Byhalia Road and Poplar View Pkwy., the Board of Mayor and Aldermen has approved the final site plan for LA Fitness.

The national fitness club, which already has five locations in the Memphis metropolitan area, plans to open a gym at 1048 W. Poplar Ave., west of Chick-fil-a and east of Firestone Auto Care.

Board members voted 4-2 for the site plan on Monday night, with Aldermen Billy Patton and John Stamps voting “no.”

Both cited concerns with increased traffic and the future outparcels on the lot.

“It feels like this is being done on the fast track to get moved through,” Stamps expressed.

The Board held a work session earlier this month and determined that, for now, the final site plan would only include the LA Fitness building and not the four lots initially planned for the plat.

Kevin Vaughan, a representative for the applicant, addressed the Board on Monday.

“There’s been a lot of noise,” he said of the plan’s initial inclusion of outparcels. “What this does tonight is, it takes all the noise off the table and shucks it down to the cob of saying, ‘we know that this fitness facility will not create a traffic issue.’ So, we’re asking for that step and then we’ll come back and look at it. If we get to the other parts and everybody feels comfortable then that will happen in due time. But if not, there will just be an LA Fitness out there operating.”

The town’s Planning Commission approved the preliminary site plat for the health spa earlier this year.

Planning Commissioners unanimously approved the plat on 8 acres where the Sunrise GMC auto dealership was previously located.

The “fitness center subdivision” originally featured four lots for buildings, including a 34,210-square-foot lot for LA Fitness toward the rear of the property. More than 230 parking spaces were also planned for the development.

Two of the parcels closest to Poplar were proposed as fast food establishments, which alarmed some of the Commissioners.

Alderman John Worley told the Planning Commission that he had concerns about the increase of traffic that will be generated by the new McDonald’s just east of the site.

Engineers with Kimley-Horn have already conducted a traffic study on the site.

“From a traffic perspective,” said Doug Swett, a member of the engineer firm, “what goes in those two out parcels is very important.”

Swett said it is the developer’s hope that only one of the parcels will be used for fast food, with the other being a strip retail center.

Engineers said the proximity of the proposed driveways to S. Byhalia and the fact that the access points are 140 feet back from Poplar will help alleviate some traffic concerns.

The project was initially anticipated to be developed in two phases with multiple uses, with the first phase consisting of 8,500-square feet of of fast food and the centrally located LA Fitness building. Construction of the fitness center could be complete by the end of 2019.

The second phase would consist of additional office and retail space.

The closest LA Fitness to Collierville is currently on Polo Grounds Blvd. just outside of Germantown.

The Addison at Collierville apartment complex will border the facility to the north.

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