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Upscale, 3-Story Fitness Center Proposed for Former Sealtest Plant Site

Life Time Fitness, which operates more than 100 centers in 22 states, filed an application with the Town of Framingham, to open one of its first New England centers on Old Conn Path.

Artist rendering of the Life Time Fitness proposed for the former Sealtest ice cream plant in Framingham. Courtesy: Life Time
Artist rendering of the Life Time Fitness proposed for the former Sealtest ice cream plant in Framingham. Courtesy: Life Time
A multi-million dollar, three-story fitness center, with an indoor aquatic center, a spa, a healthy cafe and an outdoor pool is proposed for the former Sealtest/Breyers ice cream plant on in Framingham.

Life Time Fitness, a New York Stock Exchange Company, with more than 100 centers in 22 states wants to open one of its first New England centers on Old Conn Path. Framingham is one of three locations Life Time Fitness plans to open in Massachusetts. Company spokesperson Natalie Bushaw, a public relations manager, said the other Massachusetts sites could not be released at this time. 

Life Time filed an application with the Framingham Planning Board to construct a 127,000 to 140,000 square foot fitness center with an indoor and outdoor pool. Bushaw said she could not release a cost on the project, but said it is a multi-million dollar project.

The former Breyers/Sealtest Ice cream plant, built in 1962, will be demolished, said Bushaw. The plant closed in 2011.

National Development purchased the former ice cream plant $4.5 million in August. 2013

Planning Board Administrator Amanda Loomis said the first public hearing on the project is scheduled for Thursday, March 27. The Planning Board could finish site plan review on the proposed project between 65 and 180 days.

Bushaw said typical construction would take 12-15 months once approval from the Town of Framingham is given.

Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin said this is an "very different use" for that site and an "exciting project for Framingham."

Halpin said the combination of new jobs created and the secondary retail dollars to the surrounding neighborhood coupled with the tax revenue the project could create is good news for Framingham.

Bushaw said the project, when approved and completed, would add 250-plus jobs.

Halpin said the range of services and the price point from Life Time would about equal the revenue Sealtest brought to the town.

Life Time opened its first location in 1992 in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The company is still headquartered in Minnesota.

"Life Time, which is two words, is a healthy way of life," said Bushaw.

"Framingham has a lot of wonderful gyms, but nothing like what Life Time has to offer," said Bushaw, the company's public relations manager.

"When you come to Life Time, you have all the experiences, for a healthy way of life, in one place," said Bushaw. There is cardio training, yoga, pilates, barre classes, aquatics, a spa and a healthy cafe, she explained.

Bushaw said Life Time is not going to be the "least expensive on the block."

She said the company creates an "experience second to none." It offers a "high team-member ratio." She said staff members pride themselves to know what members want and to be prepared for them once they arrive.

Life Time offers individual, couples, family and kid memberships, said Bushaw. Prices are not available on the company's website.

Life Time is proposed for one end of Old Conn Path, near Speen Street. On the opposite end is the newly-renovated MetroWest YMCA.

Besides adult fitness programs and spa services, Bushaw said other Life Time facilities have  Life Time Kids Academy, which besides fitness, Zumba and yoga classes, kids can participate in music, arts & crafts, Spanish immersion and other enrichment programs.

We bring in "gurus to train and educate children," said Bushaw.

She said other centers have child centers for children ages 3 months to 11 years.

For teens, they have the opportunity to take in the entire center from working with personal trainers, to agility training, to building endurance and more. She said some Life Time center offer after-school activity clubs for teens.

Bushaw said it is to early in the process to say specifically what programming would be available for children and teens in the proposed Framingham location.

"We’re here to provide an educational, entertaining, inviting, functional and innovative experience that meets the health and fitness needs of the entire family," said Bushaw. "We expect families will make Life Time a destination on weeknights and on weekends."

She said other Life Time centers offer 90-day summer memberships and school vacation week programming for families.

There is no contract, said Bushaw, membership is month-to-month.

Life Time also offers corporate wellness programs.

Life Time is growing its business on the East Coast. It has a Baltimore location and a handful of centers near Washington DC. Bushaw said the company recently opened its second location in New York. She said Framingham, will not be the first location to open in Massachusetts.

The company's revenue in 2010, was more than $900 million and employees almost 20,000 individuals.

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