Roxborough’s Planet Fitness proposal heads to the zoning board next week

A zoning hearing next week could give the green-light for a Planet Fitness gym to set up shop in Roxborough. The 24-hour gym would replace the abandoned Golden Chrysler Plymouth Dealership, located on the 6200 block of Ridge Avenue.

NewsWorks coverage of a Central Roxborough Civic Association meeting in December discussed the gym proposal by co-franchisee owners Tony Ruffo and Rick Petrone. The duo addressed concerns about the 24-hour operation of the parking lot and gym. They said their building efforts would include lighting that would be pitched lower at night and said gym member traffic would be spread out.

Bernard Guet, president of the Roxborough Development Corporation (RDC) says the franchise owners are willing to build the location as community members see fit.

“They are cooperating with us,” said Guet. “They will support what the community would like to see.”

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Guet says that finalizations on the proposed plan will be made after the zoning hearing. He says the RDC’s design committee is working with the co-franchisees to determine plans for the exterior aesthetics of the building.

Calls to Planet Fitness representatives were not returned.

Reactions from Roxborough 

Roxborough resident David Fox owns a building on Ridge Ave. across from the proposed location. He says a gym would be a good addition to business in the area.

“I think a gym is great,” said Fox. “It’s a nice clientele.”

Roxborough resident Christopher Conicello says a Planet Fitness wouldn’t disrupt the neighborhood with noise.

“It’s better than a Taco Bell or nightclub,” said Conicello. “They should make it something, we have enough abandoned buildings in Philadelphia.”

Barbara Jones, a former Roxborough resident, passes by the abandoned lot frequently when she visits her mother who lives nearby.

“It’s been abandoned for about three years after the dealership closed,” said Jones. “It’s an eyesore.”

The proposal goes before the zoning board on April 17. 

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