Is that a movie theater going into Town Center?

  • John Santana<br>Mill Creek Enterprise editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:47am

One of the newest tenants of Mill Creek Town Center apparently has an identity problem.

LA Fitness has a storefront office in Park Place Center that now has some workout equipment inside. It’s a temporary place for customers to work out until a 46,000-square-foot building is completed just to the north on Main Street later this year.

And that is where the identity crisis comes in to play.

LA Fitness general manager Ariel Manabat says many potential members are getting the wrong impression of the business, which when open will be the second-largest Town Center tenant behind Central Market.

“We get a lot of people thinking that our building (that’s under construction) is a movie theater,” Manabat said.

At one time, a movie theater was proposed as part of the Town Center project, but was scrapped by the city of Mill Creek because of reports from consultants and in newspapers that movie theaters nationwide were losing money and closing. In addition, small lot sizes and parking concerns doomed efforts to bring a movie house to Town Center.

Confusion, however, has apparently arisen because of the design of the LA Fitness building at Main Street and 151st Street SE. It appears to be three stories from the street and has a dome at its main entrance. The dome, and an adjoining public open space, are part of the city’s design guidelines for Town Center.

“Once the dome was done, that’s when many people thought it was a movie theater for sure,” Manabat said, adding that some people had mentioned to him that the building appeared to have a lot of windows for a movie theater.

“It’s pretty funny.”

The confusion, however, has led some potential customers to get the wrong idea of LA Fitness. Because of the 1,664-square-foot office space it currently occupies, some customers have thought the place is similar to Curves For Women. LA Fitness, however, has more in common with larger centers like Gold’s Gym and 24-Hour Fitness.

The Town Center location is the first the Irvine, Calif.-based company has opened in the Seattle area.

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