Snap Fitness Owner: Landlord Gave us No Warning About LA Fitness

The gym owner says he was blindsided by the announcement that major competition was coming to the same shopping center.

, the owner of – an existing gym in the plaza – said he was not notified of the gym’s upcoming arrival by landlord Acadia Realty until after the deal was public.

Snap Fitness owner Alex Leyberman said when he got word of having competition in the same shopping center the response Acadia gave him was simple: Having LA Fitness in the plaza was a smart business move.

While “LA Fitness Coming Soon” signs adorned the windows of the former Waldbaums for more than a month, .

Calls to Acadia Realty regarding Snap Fitness were not returned.

Snap Fitness has occupied the corner of Branch Shopping Plaza for two years and Leyberman said there are no plans to move in the future and a move might not be financially feasible for the gym.

“We're going to stick it out as much as we can,” he said. “They have a personal guarantee on the lease so even if we were to close down and move we still have to pay them a whole year of the lease, which is a lot of money.”

Leyberman said Snap Fitness would have to rely on and promote its non-intimidating, small gym status to keep the customers it has and build a larger client base.

“We are a never-crowded, smaller environment open 24-7, friendly, clean [and] non-intimidating. We try to stand on what we do best,” he said.

Leyberman said there are more than 1,400 Snap Fitness locations in the country and members can work out at any location. Leyberman is also the owner of Snap Fitness in East Northport.

John Pine June 02, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Another gym? There'a already the SNAP, and then Personal Training Inst in the next shopping center over, and there's another gym down the road by Stop and Shop! They should have put another supermarket in there, it'd be nice to have a Wegmans or Stew Leonards! Uncle G. is expensive and Stop and Shop is kinda dumpy. What is it with Smithtown and Gyms?
John Pine June 02, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Totally agree Louise! Uncle G's has been slacking lately, lousy selection and high prices. Its not a mainstream supermarket anyway. Yes Stop and Shop is down the road but I'm not thrilled with that place either. Yes there's Whole Foods and Aldi in Lake Grove, and Shop Rite down in Happaugue, but it's a loss to the community not to have another grocery. Smithtown needs another gym like a hole in the head! I hope LA Fitness fails. That huge space and a gym is going in there? What a waste! Now if they put a Fairway in there, that'd be great. I'd take a Wegmans or a Stew Leonards too. The grocery choices IN Smithtown suck. Sure you can travel outside of town but this actually hurts Smithtown!
Trainer July 16, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Is the gym for sale?
Tom Vosicky August 09, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I am the Creative Director for a company called Fitness Center Developers. We have an in-house real estate department with professional lease negotiators that work on our client's behalf to ensure messes like this never happen in the first place. This is a classic example of how either doing it yourself, or doing it with a company that has no quality real estate oversight in their system can really make a mess. I don't blame the real estate company or LA Fitness for this. I blame SNAP fitness for not protecting their owner with the most simple of protection possible. We won't put a client in a spot where the landlord will not sign a non-compete clause. How could SNAP do this? Ridiculous, I really feel sorry for this owner.
Tom Vosicky August 09, 2012 at 11:58 PM
I heard the gym was for sale for $99K, he paid over $300K for it I think. It is such a low price right now that the next owner could probably survive on the overflow and disgruntled customers from LA Fitness. Just a shame. Of course it is still a franchise so the new owner would face significant losses in profit right away of whatever their fees and royalties are every month - 8-10% or whatever it is. That plus taxes and everything else makes it still an iffy deal at 99K. I'd much rather have my own independent gym located in a place I choose, with a well negotiated lease and top notch new equipment. If the SNAP owner is still wanting to run a gym he should do it independently somewhere. It can be done - check out www.fitnesscenterdevelopers.com and look at the real estate services page - that is how you do it - SNAP could learn a few things from the site.


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