Has Former Home Expo Site Been Leased to a Fancy Fitness Center?

On May 22, the Planning Commission will hear plans for a new Life Time Fitness Center.

It's possible that the former building at 25600 Rancho Niguel Road in the Center at Rancho Niguel has been leased by Chanhassen, Minn.-based Life Time Fitness Center.

The building has been vacant since May 2009 and is 97,262 square feet, the largest in the city, followed by new store that will be opening in June.

On May 22, the  will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. in the 30111 Crown Valley Parkway, to hear the details of the plans. 

A spokeswoman for Life Time Fitness would not confirm whether it has signed a lease in the center. However, KJ Leinberger did say the company "has looked at the area in Laguna Niguel and it is definitely interested in being a part of the community. I cannot say 100 percent if we will have a center in Laguna Niguel."

Life Time Fitness does not have any locations in California. The closest, she said, is in Salt Lake City. It does have 105 centers across the country and doesn't consider itself a gym. It has centers ranging in size from 114,000 to 200,000 square feet. Most Life Time Fitness centers include an expansive selection of premium amenities and services in a resort-like setting. Amenities include: indoor and outdoor swimming pools, basketball and racquet courts, personal training and group fitness programming, child care centers, cafes and spas.

"We are not a gym but a health and fitness resort with a spa. We consider ourselves a one-stop shop, all under one roof," Leinberger said. 

According to Life Time's website, its mission is: "To provide an
educational, entertaining, friendly and inviting, functional and innovative experience of uncompromising quality that meets the
health and fitness needs of the entire family."

The proposed project includes:

  • The demolition of the existing 96,000-square-foot Home Expo Design Center and surrounding parking area;
  • A new 127,800-square-foot, three-story health club facility (Life Time Fitness);
  • An outdoor deck with outdoor dining area, three pools, spa and a water slide;
  • A new 19,800-square-foot four level, partially subterranean parking structure with 559 parking spaces;
  • A new surface parking area with 26 parking spaces and landscaping, and lighting; and,
  • A request for alternative development standards for building height (35-foot maximum and 68 feet for main building and 45 feet for parking structure proposed), parking (852 spaces required and 585 proposed), wall signage (100 square feet maximum and 365 square feet proposed), and retaining wall/fence height (6 feet maximum and 12 feet proposed).

The project is exempt under Class 32 of Section 15332 of the California Environmental Quality Act. Class 32 exemptions consist of infill-development projects on sites five acres or less under the following conditions:

  • The project is consistent with the general plan and zoning code;
  • The project area has no value as a habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species;
  • Approval of the project wouldn’t result in significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality; and,
  • The site can be adequately served by all necessary utilities and public services.

Ann M. Forella, vice president of asset management for Buie Stoddard Properties said she could not comment on whether Life Time Fitness had signed a lease or not with the managment company, and deferred to Life Time Fitness for comment.

"I know the applicant is certainly hoping that the Planning Commission approves the project and appears committed to completing the project if it is approved," said Daniel Fox, the city's community development director.

All interested persons are invited to the public hearing to be heard regarding the proposed project. In addition, written comments may be submitted to the Community Development Department prior to the hearing. If you challenge the action taken on this proposal in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in the notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the city of Laguna Niguel prior to or at the public hearing.

The file for UP 12-04P/SP 12-03P/MA 12-0P is available for public review at the Community Development Department of the city of Laguna Niguel, 30111 Crown Valley Pkwy., Laguna Niguel, (949) 362-4323.

Those desiring further information related to this project should contact Jeff Gibson, planning manager, at the above address and telephone number, or by e-mail at jgibson@cityoflagunaniguel.org.

Debbie L. Sklar May 17, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Thanks Trystan sounds like a cool place
Daniel June 02, 2012 at 09:50 AM
It is a wonderful place! The sixth photo is the new Las Vegas NV location in the Summerlin area. I've been inside. The place is super clean and the swimming pools are big and immaculately clean with no chlorine smell. I'm glad the planning commission has approved. Can't wait for it to open!
Larry June 08, 2012 at 06:10 AM
I'm a member in Las Vegas and love the fitness center. Debbie you are right another gym I also said and its not cheap but I quit my other two gym memberships that were way less(Golds, LVAC) after attending this one a few months. My family is moving to Irvine so I'm happy Lifetime is coming there. Very clean wonderful place for the whole family to workout.
marissa July 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM
i will love to have them again, love this fitness. Can't believe there is not one center here in California. I live in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego. And with all this people earning that well in this area, I don't understand why the only place to go is LA fitnes and those other small little dungeon gyms. I hate they are not over here at all.
Lauren January 17, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Lifetime is an amazing gym very clean I worked for them! I'm hoping they build one closer to downtown San Diego because I refuse to pay for any other gym membership!!


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