A new 24-hour fitness center is coming to the town of Cazenovia in the near future, to be located at 2652 Route 20 East, in the former dental office of Dr. Peter Fauth.
Lorren Hotaling, of Greene, N.Y., owner of multiple fitness centers around New York state, on Aug. 25 received the approval of the town zoning board of appeals for a special use permit to create the new facility.
“I feel great; I’m excited,” Hotaling said after receiving the ZBA’s approval. “I’ve been looking in Cazenovia as my top spot for four years, and there’s been no place to put this.”
Hotaling, who owns four other health and fitness centers in the state, in Greene, Walton, Sydney and Bath, said he picked Cazenovia as the location of his fifth fitness center because he sees a need in the community for the services he will offer, since residents must travel 20 to 30 minutes to find an adequate gym.
Hotaling’s fitness center — to be named Access Fitness — will comprise both floors of the 3,450-square-foot building. It will contain all the latest state-of-the-art exercise equipment and provide the same services as the “big clubs” in Syracuse,” he said.
While Access Fitness will offer one-on-one and small group personal training sessions, there will be no studio classes such as Zumba, Pilates or yoga.
The project plans filed with the town planning and zoning boards stated that the fitness center will have exclusive, limited membership, with an occupancy of no more than 12 people expected at any one time. There are 11 spaces in the existing parking lot.
The facility will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, Hotaling said. The door will always be locked, but all-hour access will be available to members through card or key scans or biometric scans, he said.
Hotaling said he anticipates closing on his purchase of the building in September; interior renovations to convert the space from a dental office to a health club are expected to occur between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1. There will be no renovations made to the exterior of the building or to any part of the 2.68 acres of land comprising the lot, he said.
Hotaling presented his proposed project to the town planning board on Aug. 7. The board voted unanimously to give a positive recommendation to the ZBA for issuance of the special use permit.
During the Aug. 25 hearing, ZBA members expressed concern about how Hotaling intends to light both the parking lot and the business sign on Route 20, and that he keep the lighting dark-sky compliant, and whether the existing 11-space parking lot will be sufficient for his business, especially if and as it grows.
Hotaling said he will comply with all town lighting and parking requirements. “We want everyone to love what we’re doing in the community,” he said. “If people don’t like anything, we won’t do it.”
ZBA Chair Chris Fischer said one thing he liked about Hotaling’s project is that it will reuse a building that has been vacant for the past five years.
The Madison County Planning Department, in its July 24 recommendation report on the project, similarly lauded the reuse aspect of the proposal.
“To limit the negative impacts of development and reduce the appearance of blight, it is always fortunate when existing buildings can be put toward reuse rather than left vacant,” the MCPD wrote.
After going through the State Environmental Quality Review Act checklist and declaring a negative declaration for the project (meaning no negative environmental impacts will occur), the ZBA voted unanimously to approve the special use permit with the conditions that all lighting be dark-sky compliant and all parking occur in designated areas only.
Hotaling said he could not speculate on when the fitness center will open for business, since he has not closed on the sale yet.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.