Land Use Hearing opens door for new Queens gyms and swim school

Queens Borough Hall.  Eagle  file photo by Christina Carrega

Queens Borough Hall. Eagle file photo by Christina Carrega

By Rachel Vick

New permits are likely to be granted for several new fitness facilities in Queens, following a public land use hearing at Queens Borough Hall Thursday.

The monthly meeting, hosted by Borough President Melinda Katz, featured more than 20 items on the agenda, including three requests for new and renewed permits for “physical cultural establishments” —businesses where people go for exercise or other physical activity.

A representative from the increasingly popular fitness franchise Orange Theory was present, with two prepared items. The first was for a long-term permit for the new Forest Hills location, which would be for the maximum allowed term of 10 years. The second was for a new location on 31st St. in Astoria. 

These two locations are the first in Queens and there are plans to open four more moving forward.

Another request was for a proposed swim school in the Glen Oaks Shopping Center. The Goldfish Swim School plans to build a facility in the space previously occupied by Duane Reade.

The school focuses on teaching children and toddlers how to swim in a safe and controlled environment. It is set to accommodate approximately 140 people at a time, including swim staff and those waiting to use the facilities. 

The proposal was met with overwhelming support by local residents and the Community Board 13.

None of the requests were officially approved, but did not encounter resistance from attendees or seem to raise further concern by the committee.