If all goes according to plan, northern Chautauqua County residents will have a new workout facility to visit to fulfill New Year’s resolutions of getting in shape.
Planet Fitness is targeting a Dec. 31 opening date for a new location in the town of Dunkirk in the former Brand Names Sales building at Plaza 59 near the entrance to the state Thruway.
“Planet Fitness is the hot topic right now,” town Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Mourer said at a recent meeting of the Dunkirk Town Board.
Mourer noted the business has multiple permits out pertaining to the location. Multiple contractors are working at the site, rather than utilizing one general contractor like many businesses choose to do. The location has also been addressing asbestos abatement.
Planet Fitness representatives are hoping to appear before the Town Board at a meeting prior to the Dec. 31 target date. “They are going to be coming in front of us in the next month or two, they are hoping next month,” Mourer said.
One of the issues the business still has is regarding signage, which Mourer stated is an issue with many businesses in the town. Planet Fitness wants to display more signage than the town’s code allows for as it is currently written. “The signage laws we have in place don’t match what our needs are based on today’s standards,” Mourer said. “Ninety percent of the businesses that come in front of the town have that same problem.”
Mourer cited Five Below, which was recently cleared by the town to open after a final inspection, as a business that also requested additional signage. Benderson Development also made improvements to the site next door to the Five Below location with the hope of attracting another business, to which Mourer was told there has been interest. Five Below, located on Vineyard Drive, is set to officially open its doors to the public on Friday.
Two other businesses the town has approved, however, have not made much progress since site plan approval.
The town was notified that the Starbucks coffee shop, approved in August to take over the AT&T building in the Tops Market plaza on Vineyard Drive, will not open before the end of the year. The location is targeting spring of 2024 as a timeframe for construction to begin.
“They are going to hold off until spring, possibly April, before they break ground to start work, as of the last message I was given, which I was kind of surprised by,” Mourer said.
Mourer also stated the town has not heard anything from the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurant, located in the Dunkirk Movieplex plaza, that was approved in May. At the time of approval, Town Supervisor Juan Pagan stated, “Remember, you’re in the Town of Dunkirk. If you need anything, let the Town of Dunkirk know.”