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HOUSTON-In an unusual play to fill an empty anchor spot, the Los Angeles owner of the 17-million-sf Greenspoint Mall has struck a 10-year deal with a health club operator. A $3-million finish-out is under way on 47,300 sf of a 116,695-sf hole that’s been dark for several years.

“I don’t know if this is the only fitness center in a mall, but it is unusual,” Linda Clayton, leasing director for owner Triyar Cannon Group of L.A., tells GlobeSt.com about the latest lease for the 12300 N. Freeway mall. “We hope this is a trend and they will want to move into more malls.” Triyar owns four malls in the metro region.

Clayton says the health club operator approached Triyar about the prospect of opening its first mall location. Scott Shillings, vice president for Dallas-based Staubach Co., represents New Fit Ltd., parent of Fitness Connection. The freshly inked lease includes two five-year options.

General contractor Drymalla Construction Co. Inc. of Columbus, TX, will have the space ready to go in early 2005, with owner and tenant sharing in the cost, according to Clayton. In the interim, Fitness Connection is operating out of 7,000 sf of temporary space in the mall, complete with a mock-up of the new facility. The health club operator also has set up kiosks in Greenspoint and San Jacinto Mall to promote the upcoming opening.

With the first tenant signed, Clayton says talks are well under way with a prospect for the 69,395-sf balance of the anchor spot, once held by Mervyn’s. “We aren’t ready to disclose the other tenant at this time,” she says of a key catch for the 80%-leased mall.

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