Planet Fitness in Monmouth Mall moving to former Shrewsbury A.C. Moore

SHREWSBURY – Planet Fitness is moving to Shrewsbury Plaza on Route 35 early next year, a change that will bring the fitness center out of its basement location at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown.

The borough’s Land Use Board recently approved an application by Planet Fitness to move into a 21,520-square-foot space formerly occupied by A.C. Moore. The arts and crafts retailer shut down all of its stores in late 2019.

Planet Fitness has been located in the basement level of Monmouth Mall since 2010. A company spokesperson said it is expecting to open in Shrewsbury in early 2022, likely by the end of March. Currently, the project to convert the A.C. Moore space is awaiting a building permit.

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According to a resolution by the Land Use Board, Planet Fitness wanted more space and to leave the mall’s basement location. Its lease for the 15,184-square-foot space at the mall is scheduled to expire and a remodel is due.

A rendering of the facade for Planet Fitness at Shrewsbury Plaza on Route 35.

The move will fill the largest vacancy at Shrewsbury Plaza, a 24.67-acre shopping center owned  by National Realty & Development Corp. Other large tenants include ShopRite, Marshall’s and Home Goods.

In approving the former A.C. Moore space’s use as a fitness center, the Land Use Board said the Planet Fitness application represents a “reinvestment” of the vacant storefront.

“The Board recognizes that a highly prominent major vacancy in a very visible area of an existing Shopping Center does not inspire economic confidence,” according to the board’s resolution. It “will restore much needed life” to that corner of the shopping plaza.

The former A.C. Moore space at Shrewsbury Plaza will be occupied by Planet Fitness, which is moving from Monmouth Mall.

Planet Fitness has 12 centers in Monmouth and Ocean counties. It caters to first-time and casual gym owners who may have never belonged to a gym before. It bills itself as a “judgement free zone” where members can exercise at their own pace without being judged. 

The new location in Shrewsbury will include a stretching area, a circuit training area, a free weight area, a cardio area and a reception area. There will also be locker rooms, and new state-of -the-art cardio and strength equipment. The fitness center also will have a Black Card Spa, which will include HydroMassage beds, massage chairs, and tanning beds/booths for Planet Fitness Black Card members.

Planet Fitness is making other moves at the Jersey Shore. In June, What’s Going There reported that Planet Fitness has leased the 17,867-square-foot former Modell’s Sporting Goods store at the Toms River Shopping Center on Route 37.

The company also has moved into a new space at the remodeled and redeveloped Hazlet Town Center on Route 35. It was previously located in another part of the shopping center that is being converted to a Panera Bread restaurant.