Wednesday, May 25, 2011

LGMC’s fitness center moving in. By Leslie Turk

Vacant since early 2008, the Townhouse at 111 Auditorium Place is about to shape up.

Lafayette General Medical Center has signed a long-term lease for the Oil Center site next to its campus. The hospital is relocating its fitness/wellness center from the corner of Heymann Boulevard and South College Road to the Auditorium Place building, a move that represents a drastic change in use of the building, which most recently was the beautifully appointed Townhouse Restaurant and Caterer.

The hospital is leasing the location from Lafayette businessman/landman Art LeBlanc, who bought the site in late 2004 and reopened it as a restaurant and catering business in the summer of 2005, having invested a considerable amount of money in an extensive renovation that included closing in the pool to create a garden terrace.

Renovations are under way, says Liz Landry, LGMC’s assistant director of bariatric surgery and wellness. “It’s a 12-week project,” Landry says, with a tentative opening of mid- to late August. With the added space, the center will expand its offerings, adding Pilates and spinning classes and a juice/supplement bar with free Wi-Fi access. As it does now, the health facility will work with the hospital’s cancer, bariatric surgery and cardiac centers and will develop custom wellness and preventative programs for its members.

Landry says the membership fee structure has not been finalized. “Our prices are very, very competitive,” she says. “And we have a high quality staff of [health and medical] professionals.”

Originally constructed in 1968 as a private club called Lafayette Townhouse Club, the Oil Center building had been vacant for years before LeBlanc purchased it.

He paid Crowley businessmen David and Peter John $1.25 million for the 2.5-acre site, according to the Clerk of Court’s office. The John brothers bought the property from a prominent Lafayette group — Charles Chatelain, Tom Galloway, Wayne Elmore and Dr. Paul Azar Jr. — for $1.03 million in October 2002. Court records show that in 2000, that group paid $850,000 to Lafayette Townhouse for the land and building.

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