New fitness club opens at Everett Mall

  • By Eric Fetters Herald Writer
  • Friday, November 2, 2007 9:38am
  • Business

EVERETT — Some people walk around the mall for exercise, but Everett Mall’s new arrival also offers weight-lifting, swimming and spinning as fat-burning options.

LA Fitness opened last week on the mall’s south side, marking the completed remodel of the space occupied until last December by Mervyn’s.

With nearly 49,000 square feet next to Steve &Barry’s, the health club is LA Fitness’ largest in the Northwest, said general manager Clint Richard.

It includes a full-sized basketball court, racquetball courts, a four-lane lap pool, spa and large areas full of circuit-training machines, cardio exercise equipment and free weights.

The large main space inside the club includes 10 mounted plasma TVs, with two adjacent classrooms for exercise sessions. On-site child care also is available.

This is LA Fitness’ second location in Snohomish County, with the other in Mill Creek Town Center. While health clubs aren’t commonly part of malls in this region yet, it’s something that’s seen in California and elsewhere, said Linda Johannes, general manager for Everett Mall.

“It’s just a natural here,” she said, explaining it fits in with the trend of adding more restaurants and other entertainment options so that malls serve as more full-service lifestyle centers rather the just shopping venues. “It’s a wonderful addition to the Everett Mall and to Everett.”

Everett Mall had just added big retail names and made other changes when Mervyn’s announced it was closing all its Washington state stores last year. Instead of leaving a gaping hole in the shopping center, however, that space has been transformed and expanded. In addition to LA Fitness, it is home to Steve &Barry’s, a fast-expanding discount clothing chain.

Since opening earlier this year, Steve &Barry’s has drawn in shoppers from a wide area of Western Washington, Johannes said.

Most of the big changes planned by the mall’s owner, Steadfast Cos., have been completed now. They’ve apparently had the wanted effect, as Johannes said per-square-foot spending has increased in the mall during the past year.

Some more cosmetic improvements will be coming next year, along with an emphasis on attracting more small retailers to fill the mall’s empty spaces, she added.

Meanwhile, a gated community of single-family homes is rising from Steadfast-owned property along the south end of the mall parking lot. The multi-story homes are planned for completion next year.

Reporter Eric Fetters: 425-339-3453 or fetters@heraldnet.com.

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