By Alex Dominguez, staff writer
NORWALK -- Norwalk officially broke ground on the highly anticipated Norwalk Fitness Village project Monday morning.
Four of the five members of city council took shovels in hand, flanked by various business officials, city staff, and community members.
“Our residents have long requested innovative opportunities for dining, shopping, and other services,” said Mayor Luigi Vernola. “We are pleased to be able to show that we are listening and bringing popular new businesses and additional jobs to the area.”
Located at Bloomfield Avenue and Imperial Highway, the new promenade-style center will include a 37,000 square foot LA Fitness gym, Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread restaurants, and an outdoor stage for small entertainment purposes. Other businesses have yet to be announced.
According to a report made by QSR, Chick-fil-A generated over $7.9 billion in revenue in 2016, averaging about $4.4 million per unit throughout 2,102 total stores.
The same report shows Panera Bread generating $5.2 billion in sales, averaging $2.7 million throughout 2,042 stores.
Vice Mayor Leonard Shryock said that he hoped the new center will signal Norwalk as a “tremendous business destination.”
“We’re real excited and looking forward to reaping the benefits of this beautiful development,” said Shryock.
The plans were passed by the Planning Commission back in February, and then again by City Council back in April.
Councilmember Jennifer Perez – who was serving as a commissioner at the time of the Commission’s vote on the project – described the project as a “new beginning.”
“It’s a refresh. The new energy and the new excitement that’s coming in from the owners of the property, the developers, to the tenants between the restaurants and LA Fitness; it’s truly going to rejuvenate the excitement coming into our city,” said Perez. “We’re right at the gateway center of our city coming in from Santa Fe Springs, so it’s going to create a whole new vibe.”