A rendering of the new Winthrop Wellness Pavilion. Courtesy of Garden City Chamber of Commerce
Before an excited crowd, Alfred Weissman, owner of the former Saks Fifth Avenue building on Franklin Avenue in Garden City, unveiled long-awaited renovation plans for the vacant building.
"I've made deals and had conversations over lunch but I've never signed a lease at lunch," Weissman said, referring to a 15-year deal signed Sept. 27 that will bring the "Winthrop Wellness Pavilion" to Franklin.
Various medical and fitness services will be offered by Winthrop and Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness, a Connecticut-based company that will provide cutting-edge amenities like personal training and sports-specific training, an aquatics center, yoga and Pilates classes, a youth activity center and much more.
Daniel Walsh, Winthrop's president and CEO, said he's anxious to bring the building to life. "We're very excited and pleased to be part of this," he said.
A state-of-the-art fitness center will be situated on the lower level, while a health resource center offering a wealth of medical information, classes and seminars to the public, will exist on the ground floor, which still has room for retail such as a restaurant or offices, and the hospital's Orthopedic Center, complete with sports orthopedists, joint replacement specialists and more, will exist on the second floor.
The building, with its refurbished brick exterior, is slated to open this spring, according to Alan Weissman, Alfred's son and a principal with Alfred Weissman Real Estate Inc.
This deal means a lot to Alfred; his father worked as a tailor for Saks for 40 years and he worked at the store during his high school years. "For me to buy those buildings is something that only could happen in America," he said. "When I salute the flag it means more to me than you could imagine."