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In works: Gardens athletic resort with rooftop beach club, luxury apts

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08/12/2017 | 12:52 am

Aug. 11--PALM BEACH GARDENS -- A PGA Boulevard strip center that became the focus of a lengthy legal fight over a BJ's Wholesale Club could become a resort-style health club surrounded by apartments and health stores.

Representatives of Kimco Realty told Palm Beach Gardens officials that they want to redevelop the former Loehmann's Plaza into a three-story athletic center, 225 apartments and health-oriented shops and restaurants.

Palm Beach Gardens Plaza LLC, a subsidiary of Kimco, owns the roughly 14-acre property at PGA and RCA Boulevards just east of Interstate 95. Palm Beach Gardens Plaza sued the city in 2013 after officials rejected plans for a BJs, alleging they improperly changed the rules.

Kimco is a real estate investment trust based in New Hyde Park, N.Y. that owns and operates open-air shopping centers.

In January, Palm Beach Gardens officials approved a settlement of the lawsuit that laid out a timeline for the plaza's redevelopment. Kimco has until December -- 150 days from a July 10 meeting with city officials -- to submit a formal plan for review.

But a packet submitted to city planners shows Kimco plans for a Life Time Living community for all ages. The complex would be among a few under development across the country. Another Life Time Living is scheduled to open in Dallas at the end of 2019, spokesman Jason Thunstrom said.

The one in Palm Beach Gardens would include a three-story Life Time athletic resort with rooftop beach club, 200 luxury apartments and 25 loft apartments over residential parking, shops, restaurants and rentable work space.

The idea is that residents could go the whole day without leaving the plaza.

"We're addressing almost the entire spectrum of their daily life," Thunstrom said.

Life Time Athletic operates a club, formerly a Wellbridge, on Yamato Road in Boca Raton.

In addition to the exercise equipment, studios and personal training, some Life Time athletic clubs have full-service spas for hair, nails and massages; centers where children can learn Spanish, tumbling and gymnastics while their parents exercise; and leisure pools to complement the lap pools.

What will happen to the current tenants of the plaza -- including a theater, a music studio, a dance school and salon -- is not clear.

Peter Flint, a Kimco regional director, referred questions to Paul Puma, a Kimco regional president, who didn't respond.

The plan for the former Loehmann's will undergo a critique from the city's planning staff and reviews by the planning board and City Council before a final vote.

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(c)2017 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

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