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Planet Fitness proposes plan to take over old Bob’s Furniture building in Salem

By RYAN LESSARD
Union Leader Correspondent

September 17. 2018 9:28PM




SALEM — Planet Fitness is moving into the old Bob's Discount Furniture store after Bob's moves to a larger space that was formerly a Shaw's Supermarket.

The franchisee is seeking change-of-use approval at the next planning board meeting on Sept. 25.

According to Town Planner Ross Moldoff, Taylor Mandell, the owner and operator of Northshore Fit LLC, is planning on using the 24,000-square-foot space at 92 Cluff Crossing Road once Bob’s vacates it in favor of a 50,000-square-foot former Shaw’s.

Northshore Fit LLC is the parent company of a number of other Planet Fitnesses in the area, he said.

Moldoff said Salem had a Planet Fitness previously on North Broadway next to Turf Depot, but that closed a couple of years ago.

Moldoff said change-of-use plans like these tend to only affect traffic and parking. He said Mandell argues the net parking and traffic will still be a net decrease compared to when Shaw’s was still open.

“They said that they feel the town will be better off,” Moldoff said.

Calls to Mandell were not returned by press time.

The Rockingham Plaza, where Bob’s is moving in, has been undergoing a number of improvements and new developments, Moldoff said. Developers there are in the process of building a Panera Bread where a Denny’s was once located, they are upgrading the facades for other storefronts, and it’s the site of a new state liquor store.

Moldoff said the town looks forward to having a Planet Fitness back in Salem. And it shows that the town’s economy is thriving.

“It’s good that the stores aren’t staying vacant for long,” Moldoff said.

Also during the Sept. 25 meeting, the planning board will hear plans to install a crematorium at the Goundrey and Dewhirst Funeral Home on Main Street.

Moldoff said the funeral home originally proposed building a crematorium in a detached garage that was up against a residence in 2016, but that was denied after the abutter spoke against it.

The new plan is to install the crematorium inside the funeral home.

“Hopefully, that addresses the concerns of the abutter,” Moldoff said.

Also at the meeting, Tuscan Village developers will be proposing to build a maintenance garage facility.

Tonight, Tuscan developers are also attending a special meeting of the planning board to present major sections of the development for approval, including primary roadways and a new apartment complex.

ldnews@unionleader.com


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