Planet Fitness at Northgate Mall will move to the recently sold North Lafayette Mall.
Sully Barwin, who along with two investors bought the Evangeline Plaza mall at 3803 Moss St., said the franchisee of Planet Fitness locations in Lafayette will move that location there and take up just under half the space formerly. owned by Winn-Dixie. .
The owners are in negotiations with two retailers for the remainder of the 55,000 square foot anchor space, Barwin said. Both companies are well-known retailers but are not grocery stores, he said.
Jackson, Mississippi-based Barwin and his investors bought the mall for $4.13 million.
Planet Fitness had been at Northgate Mall for at least 10 years.
“It just had a lot more life than it has these days,” Barwin said of the mall. “We thought that made sense – let’s just buy the one around the corner and if we can rent it out it will be a good real estate transaction for us. It still has a decent member count.
It will be the last space to become vacant at Northgate Mall, Lafayette’s first mall that is now occupied by mostly independent merchants, most of whom are minority-owned. The mall lost its Footaction store when its parent company, Foot Locker, announced a series of store closures and rebranding last year.
A company is in negotiations to occupy the former Transcomm space next to Planet Fitness, a mall official said.
Evangeline Plaza had been anchored by the Winn-Dixie, which closed in 2017 and was one of three underperforming stores in Louisiana that the company chose to close.
Barwin said he discovered the mall after visiting the area and someone recommended he have lunch at The Potato Place, which is in Evangeline Square. The location, he noted, is ideal, and talk of buying the development stems from a conversation there.
The group is new to commercial real estate and currently owns only a small development in Baton Rouge, he said.
“We’re getting more into the real estate base,” Barwin said. “We’re dipping our toes in, and we’ll see how it goes.”