The Harrison Town Board has approved the demolition of the Journal News building on Gannett Drive, clearing way for a 209,000 square foot Lifetime Fitness facility expected to be completed by 2014.
Frank McCullough, an attorney representing Lifetime Fitness, announced that the company hopes to tear down the current Gannett building and begin construction by next year.
The much anticipated fitness center has received praise from the town board throughout the application process. It will include three swimming pools, two tennis courts and a full-service spa. There are also plans for a separate children's gym, more than 400 pieces of exercise equipment, squash and racquetball courts and a two-story rock-climbing wall.
Once completed, the fitness center is expected to bring about 200 jobs to the area, according to previous site plan proposals.
The total size of the property is more than 22 acres and it is surrounded by major highways, a big selling point for the board because it avoids residential neighborhoods.
Since the original application for the project was received in May, board members have touted the new fitness center as an attraction for businesses the town hopes to draw to Westchester Avenue's Platinum Mile.
"The plans are marvelous," said Harrison Mayor/Supervisor Joan Walsh. "It sounds very exciting."
"We're anxious to get it," added Councilwoman Marlane Amelio.
The board granted final approval by a 5-0 vote.
Demolition of the current building is expected to occur in about six months.