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CNB NOVEMBER 2012 ARCHIVES: Meandering w/ Mark Matthews: K-Mart Fire; NEW TENANT?

published November 17, 2012 

UPDATE Monday, November 19,  7:30PM

(CNBNewsnet Staff)BROOKLAWN NJ-We have been able to confirm that a Planet Fitness franchise is coming to the Brooklawn Shopping Center and will be housed in the old K-Mart store that has been emptied for the past two years. According to two reliable sources, renovation work has started on both the inside and outside of the building. 

However there is no mention on the company’s website about a new franchise opening in Brooklawn anytime soon.  As such we reached out to the company’s Vice-President of Marketing, Mark Christie Monday afternoon for more information.  We are still waiting for his response. 

Opening up a Planet Fitness franchise is an expensive venture. Looking at the company’s website ( under Franchise you’ll find the following: 

To open 1 club:

• Total liquid assets of all partners: $500,000
• Total net worth of all partners: $1.5 million

To develop an area (minimum of 5 clubs):

• Total liquid assets of all partners: $1.5 million
• Total net worth of all partners: $3 million

Presently there are two Planet Fitness gyms in the immediate area. One is approximately 7.9 miles away on Route 70 East in Cherry Hill and the other is in Clementon, about 8.4 miles in the Cherrywood Shopping Center, Blackwood-Clementon Road.


BROOKLAWN NJ-The empty Brooklawn K-Mart store experienced a small fire this afternoon (4:20pm Nov 17, 2012).  I was driving to the Auto Parts store and saw the small black plume of smoke coming from the direction of K-Mart.  It appeared to be either the back of the store, or maybe the weeds behind the store.


I was heading that way anyway, so I pulled around to the back of the store.  There were a few other onlookers there, one police officer and no fire trucks yet.

I never walked closer than the corner, but one employee of another local business did and told me it was the store's box/trash compactor.

Pics at the bottom of this post.

So the next thought is... why would there be anything in the compactor when the store has been closed for 2 years?

And why are the fixing up the parking lot and resurfacing it?

According to an employee in another nearby business, a well known national Fitness chain has rented the Brooklawn K-mart location for a new fitness center, and the parking lot work is part of the lease agreement!

The name of the business was mentioned to me... but I couldn't find anything corroborating the story so I'll hold off for now.

But it is clear SOMETHING is going on at the store.