Is the JCPenney at Southdale set to become a Life Time Fitness mega gym?

The Chanhassen fitness chain wants to open a mega-gym at the Edina mall.

Plans for a 120,000 square foot fitness center at Southdale in Edina have been revealed, but could it mean the end for JCPenney at America's oldest mall?

Life Time Fitness has submitted preliminary plans to the Edina City Council for the mega center it wants to open at the mall on the site currently occupied by JCPenney.

The plan would see Life Time Fitness creating a gym experience spanning three floors including a pool on the roof with a beach club, a basketball center and an indoor pool.

A separate, 27,000 square foot unit would be opened alongside it, creating space for another commercial business.

The plans seem to meet with the approval of Southdale owner Simon, which said in a comment to GoMN that this was a "pending deal" although would not comment any further at this stage.

That said, JCPenney continues to operate at the mall, with the Edina location not one of the 138 stores the retailer announced would be closing this year. However, Business Insider did list it as one of those likely to close down in the future.

JCPenney told GoMN it has not made any announcements regarding its Southdale store.

But Jason Thunstrom, a Life Time spokesman, told the Star Tribune that it's too early to say whether it will select the JCPenney unit for definite, even though the Chanhassen-based fitness chain is looking to take advantage of the wave of store closures as part of its new focus on "nontraditional models for new locations."

"It's too early to say if it will be J.C. Penney definitely. It's very preliminary," he told the newspaper.

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