ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -   The Shoppes at Foxmoor plaza will continue to see new activity with the opening of a major fitness center as part of the shopping center's on-going redevelopment.

On Thursday, Robert Sichelstiel, Chief Financial Officer of the shopping center's owner, Pennmark  Properties, announced Planet Fitness as the new occupant for at least half of the former Marazzo's Thriftway. The space has been vacant for several years. 

Planet Fitness signed a minimum 10-year lease to add Robbinsville as one of its more than 1,800 franchises across the country.  An opening date for the fitness center has not yet been determined.  

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In addition, the 126,000-square-foot "anchor" space of the plaza will be shared by STEM Academy - a school and childcare facility.  The Robbinsville STEM Academy will be the second location for the locally-owned early child care and enrichment center for children between the ages of six weeks old and 13 years old. 

A third, yet to be announced, business will complete the "anchor" space.  

Because many Robbinsville residents have been vocal in their hope for another grocery store in the former Marazzo's, Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried acknowledged their disappointment and maintains every attempt was made to land a food store, but the competition locally proved too strong.

"My team reached out to every major grocery and specialty chain on the East Coast,” Mayor Fried said, “but the reality of three super ShopRite stores and a popular Acme all located within a five-minute driving radius proved to be a hurdle too large for those corporations to ignore.”

"We're in it for the long haul," said Justin Bartholomew of Pennmark Properties who noted that refacing the storefronts of the properties is guaranteed and resurfacing of the parking lot is tentatively slated for Spring 2020.  

Built in 1986, Foxmoor was deemed an "area in need of redevelopment" by the Robbinsville Planning Board in August 2016 because of deteriorating conditions and a spike in vacancies after the Marazzo's Thriftway closed in 2011.  Penmark purchased the plaza at auuction in August of 2018 for $7.5 million.   At that time, Foxmoor was only 41 percent occupied.  

Since then, Pennmark has signed leases with nine new businesses: Thai Ginger, Justin’s Barber Shop, ATA Hamilton Karate, Code Ninjas, The Healthy Animal and Mathnasium.   Eight existing tenants -- Foxmoor Brighter Dental; Wellness Center (Dr. Swanekamp); Allied Vision; Edward Jones; Tindall Jewelers; Hair It Is; Cocoa Beach Tanning and Foxmoor Animal Hospital.--  have renewed their leases as a sign that they are encouraged by the improvements at Foxmoor. 

Foxmoor’s occupancy rate could reach 85 percent within the next two months.   

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