COTTAGE GROVE - The planets seem to be aligning for the former Home Depot space in Cottage Grove.
A TJ Maxx/HomeGoods store is on track to open this fall, the first occupancy of the building since the Home Depot closed in 2008.
They will be joined by Planet Fitness, who plan to open an 18,000-square-foot facility sometime in November, City Councilman Steve Dennis said.
The New Hampshire-based fitness franchise applied for a conditional-use permit and site plan with the city. According to their website, Planet Fitness operates over 1,500 clubs in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Dominican Republic.
While it won't have a swimming pool, it will easily be the largest gym in Cottage Grove, on a scale with Lifetime Fitness and the YMCA in Woodbury. They will occupy the eastern end of the former Home Depot site, near 80th Street.
Planet Fitness runs at least 14 sites in Minnesota, including facilities in Bloomington, Brooklyn Center and Apple Valley. They advertise "Judgment Free Zones" to appeal to beginners who may feel intimidated visiting a gym.
The application will be reviewed by the Cottage Grove Planning Commission and City Council at their respective meetings July 23 and August 1.
“Our entire team is very pleased on behalf of the community,” Dennis said.
Dennis and Mayor Myron Bailey said they are happy to be filling up what had been more than 100,000 square feet of nothing in the Grove Plaza, which is located in the southeast corner of Cottage Grove near the intersection of 80th Street and E. Point Douglas Road. The city bought the property from Home Depot and sold it to EBL&S, a commercial real estate company, in 2016.
Planet Fitness and TJ Maxx will bookend the site, leaving only two empty retail spots, or "bays" between them to be leased by EBL&S. The company is also seeking tenants for two other vacant storefronts in the mall that were occupied by MGM Wine and Spirits and the Hallmark Store.
"There (is) potential for additional businesses to open either by the end of 2018 and 2019," Dennis said.