North Greenwich Shopping Center is in better shape, thanks to new gym
GREENWICH — A new tenant is up and running at the North Greenwich Shopping Center, and problems with vacancies there are a thing of the past.
Craig DeCollibus, co-owner of Stateline Fitness, opened his doors at a new 3,000-square-foot facility on Jan. 18, as part of a “soft-opening” process. A formal opening will be held in February.
DeCollibus, who works with a partner in the fitness business in White Plains, N.Y., was looking to expand their business through the years. The retail center in the neighborhood just south of the border with North Castle, N.Y., and the hamlet of Banksville, seemed like a good choice.
“From here, the next closest gym in any direction is 10 miles away,” said DeCollibus. “It seems like we’re in the middle of nowhere, but we’re actually in the middle of everything — Greenwich, Armonk, Bedford, Rye Brook. We’re in a good spot.”
An IGA supermarket closed there in 2010, leading to a drop-off in the number of visitors to the retail complex, and a number of vacant storefronts resulted. The shopping center has slowly come back.
DeCollibus, a resident of Rye Brook, N.Y., said the fitness center is doing “pretty good so far,” and he hopes to grow the business in coming months. The center is mostly doing group classes, though personal training is also offered. The operation concentrates on strength and conditioning. Free-weights and cardio-machines are the primary tools of the trade.
DeCollibus, who has an MBA and worked previously in corporate finance, said he looked at the demographics and business conditions in the area before proceeding. He appreciates the warm welcome he has received so far from other business owners in the area. “Everyone wants everyone else to be successful,” he said.
The gym owner says he enjoys the work and the challenges he has embarked on. “I’ve worn suits for 10 years, I’m happy to wear sweats now,” he joked.
The shopping center has shown new life in recent months — with the expansion of a cafe and food market, and a florist and wine shop. A large space in the anchor site at the North Greenwich Shopping Center, part of the the former IGA, is still vacant and being marketed.
Other retailers are happy to have the new business running.
“It’s a positive thing. He’s a really great guy and I think he’ll do well,” said Alfonso Criscuolo, owner of Banksville Pizza and Pasta.
Ryan Belmont, of Computer Emporium, said, “I’m happy to have anyone come in. In terms of vacancies here, it’s definitely turned the corner.”
The town planning and zoning commissioners made a change to allow the new business to operate there, as “group fitness” was not an allowed use under the previous zoning at the site.