Planet Fitness will open in Marshalls space in Baltimore's Mondawmin Mall

Planet Fitness will move into the soon-to-be vacated Marshalls space at Mondawmin Mall by summer, a broker for the fitness center said Wednesday.

Marshalls parent company said last month it would close the anchor store at the Northwest Baltimore mall by Saturday. The mall owner said at the time it expected to announce a new tenant.

Planet Fitness is one of the biggest and fastest growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S. The club has signed a lease for 22,000 square feet to open the fifth Planet Fitness location in the city, MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services announced.

“We are very excited to continue our growth in the Baltimore area and to be part of the Mondawmin Mall community,” said Stephen Smith, chief operating officer of Planet Fitness, in an announcement.

The fitness center will offer state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, free fitness training and a Black Card Spa, including hydromassage beds and massage chairs. Plans are underway to begin construction during the next three months.

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh called the fitness center a “great addition” to the mall.

“We are thrilled that this team continues to invest in Baltimore and open in neighborhoods which are in need of such amenities and services,” Pugh said in a statement.

Planet Fitness, which has more than 1,700 locations, bills itself as offering “Judgement Free” fitness in a non-intimidating environment. The club will be the first fitness-related tenant for the mall, said Romaine Smallwood-Smoot, general manager of Mondawmin.

“We are a hub for our community and are always looking for ways to provide everything under one roof,” Smallwood-Smoot said. “The addition of Planet Fitness represents the evolution of our shopping center and we know our community will embrace it.”

Marshalls opened at the mall in March 2011 and will be the latest retailer to close at Mondawmin. Target closed in February. A spokesman for Marshalls said in December the company decided to close the store after reviewing “real estate strategies.”

The off-price retailer has locations at 600 E. Pratt St. and 6700 Reisterstown Road.

John Schultz, MacKenzie Commercial’s senior vice president/principal, said Planet Fitness has been able to attract a growing client base.

“Their proven success in other local and regional markets will be a great complement to the mall and surrounding trade area,” he said.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

twitter.com/lmirabella

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