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DALLAS-With three more leases under negotiation, Gold’s Gym International is holding a 12-year pact to open its first corporate-owned location in the metroplex since last year’s headquarters relocation from California. The fitness giant is under way with a $2-million overhaul of a vacant building along McKinney Avenue in Uptown.

Wyatt Russo, senior vice president for the Retail Connection LP in Dallas, says the 30,000-sf fitness center, being outfitted with a cardio theater, will open in late summer at 2425 McKinney Ave., backfilling an in-town Uptown spot previously leased to 24-Hour Fitness. He tells GlobeSt.com that leases are in various stages of negotiation for sites in North Dallas, Plano and the South Arlington-Mansfield corridor, but all should be completed before the quarter ends. There are three Gold’s Gyms scattered throughout the metroplex–all franchised operations.

A Gold’s contact says the plan is to open 20 corporate-controlled centers in five to seven in a push for market share in its headquarters region. The all-inclusive search takes in build-to-suit pad sites, vacant buildings and end caps in high-profile shopping centers. The South Arlington-Mansfield corridor is shaping up as the first build-to-suit location.

Russo says the team’s preference is 41,000 sf to 43,000 sf, with the typical lease bearing a 10-year term. The sweet spot for rent is $7 per sf to $11 per sf. The site search focuses on areas with a minimum 150,000 population in a five-mile trade area and $60,000 average annual household income. Besides Russo, the Retail Connection team includes senior vice president Robert Dennis and CEO Steven A. Lieberman. Newt Walker, with a namesake firm in Uptown, handled talks for the McKinney Avenue building owner of record, 3310 Knox St. Ltd.

With Uptown memberships well under way, Russo says Gold’s corporate chiefs “have become very excited about the market.” The upshot, he adds, is the searches will heat up as they “become somewhat aggressive with the locations.”

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