Downtown gym targets May opening; apartment work begins

Ultimate Fitness is expected to be open within weeks. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)
Ultimate Fitness is expected to be open within weeks. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A 25,000-square foot fitness center in downtown Riverhead’s newly-renovated Woolworth building is targeting an opening early next month, as interior construction work on the apartments above the gym is set to begin.

Maximus Health & Fitness, which relocated from its location on Route 58, should be open in the first or second week of May, constructions workers said as they set up exercise equipment inside the space. 

“We’re going to be starting the major residential work over the next few months,” said Michael Butler, the managing partner of the company renovating the site. The building will feature 19 apartment units on the 15,000-square-foot second floor.

The interior of the building has already had new electrical wiring, plumbing, water lines and sprinklers installed. 

Work on a bagel shop near the building is also expected to be completed in mid-May, he said, while 3,000 square feet of commercial space is still available for lease. Scaffolding around the outside of the building was taken down this week, and laborers will begin decorating the fascia that runs along the front of the building.

Woolworth went out of business in 1997, and the long-vacant building was purchased for about $4 million in 2006 by Apollo Real Estate Advisors, a Manhattan-based investment group. When Apollo’s proposed $500 million revitalization for almost all of downtown later fell apart, Mr. Butler purchased the property last year.

Mr. Butler said the workers have taken care to incorporate details from the Woolworth’s building’s history, like using the original metalwork around the front doors.

“This is a historic building, so we’re trying to make it look like it was in the 1950s,” Mr. Butler said, adding that the fascia should be finished in one or two weeks.

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