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If you build it, they will come.

For the better part of the year, Crunch Fitness has been in negotiations with the Opera House Hotel in Melrose and have officially signed a lease for 18,000 Square Foot space in the landmark building.

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According to the Opera House, Crunch is already paying rent and is expected to be up and running in the beginning of next year. No exact date in 2014 has been set.

Melrose, once home to mom and pop fitness centers and Lucille Roberts, received its first major gym when Planet Fitness – the popular no-frills national chain –opened in December 2011. Apparently this was the watershed moment for the fitness industry and 6 months later in June 2012, Blink Fitness opened up in St Ann’s Terrace on 156th Street.

The new locations proved so popular that Blink Fitness opened yet another location in the Melrose area on the opposite side of the neighborhood in Concourse Plaza to better serve that neighborhood.

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18,000 square foot space which will be occupied by Crunch Fitness at the Opera House Hotel.

Now with Crunch coming to the neighborhood, Bronxites will have the option of higher tier of gyms as memberships typically run from $69 – $99 a month, however there is an unconfirmed rumor that this location may be offering a much more affordable membership competitive with those of Planet Fitness and Blink.

So, Bronxites, what do you think about this? For years, locals have been asking gyms like New York Sports Club to open up in our neighborhood since many of us would have to schlep to Manhattan for a good, full service gym – only to be told that the market could not sustain them.

Now, everyone seems to want a piece of the action as we continue to prove them wrong.

As Melrose and the surrounding areas continue to become more attractive to outsiders, will longtime residents be displaced or will we continue to make this neighborhood a successful story of a neighborhood with mixed incomes and socioeconomic backgrounds?

Stay tuned as we get more info! Oh and remember, you FIRST heard it from Welcome2TheBronx!

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