City planner says Planet Fitness going into former County Market; aldermen OK spending tax dollars on three-bay development at 30th, Broadway


QUINCY — The Quincy City Council approved a resolution during Monday night’s meeting to enter into a Mid-Town Business District redevelopment agreement with the Charles & Kathie Marx Trust to put $200,000 toward the construction of 6,000 square feet of retail space for three businesses on the northeast corner of 30th and Broadway.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, said after the meeting that one of the three businesses will be a Verizon cellphone store. He also said property owner Tom Marx will build the new retail building to the south of the former County Market grocery store, which is being converted into a Planet Fitness.

“That’s three bays, and then of course, (Marx has) got the Planet Fitness going out on top,” Bevelheimer said. “He has another retail (store) available on the west end of the site, but I’m unaware of who’s committed to that. OK, so he’s got a lot going on.”

Tory Kaufmann, a spokesperson for Marx Commercial Properties and Development Company at 133 N. 33rd, confirmed in a text conversation Monday night that Verizon will be a tenant in the new building.

However, when asked about Planet Fitness, Kaufmann replied Tuesday morning in a text, “We have no public comment at this time.”

Planet Fitness and a Verizon store are two new tenants going into the former County Market space at 30th and Broadway. Photo: J. Robert Gough

County Market closed the store at the 6.67-acre property in 2008. A Long John Silver’s restaurant previously was on the corner of 30th and Maine. It closed in 2014 and later was demolished.

Marx, a long-time commercial real estate developer, owns several properties in Quincy, as well as Jacksonville, Hannibal, Mo., and Keokuk, Iowa. His request for funding was warmly welcomed during last week’s Finance Committee meeting, chaired by Mike Farha, R-4.

“It’s a good project and, I think I speak for the entire finance committee, we felt strongly,” Farha said Monday. “Tom’s spent a lot of development work, and this program’s available. This was an opportunity to help him with the project and hopefully more.

“I think this is progress. Not that I agree we should be messing with retail, but we need jobs. We need to grow. Following up on the progress of (the construction of a Target at) 36th and Broadway, I know there are a lot of happy momma bears. … This is a great follow-up. You’re gonna see some real development in the corner of 30th and Broadway. I just want to thank Tom Marx for taking a chance.”

The Mid-Town Business District, formed in March 2021, places a 1 percent retail sales tax on businesses in an area bordered by Broadway, College, 30th Street and 36th Street. That fund is currently generating about $14,000 per month in tax revenue, Bevelheimer said.

The first expenditure of Mid-Town Business District funds was a $100,000 commitment to Cullinan Properties for the replacement of the roof on the Quincy Medical Group building at the Quincy Town Center. Bevelheimer said the commitment to Marx’s property means funds raised by the Mid-Town Business District are accounted for through May 2023.

“I did not support the idea of having this tax. I originally voted against it,” said Jeff Bergman, R-2. “But I do support the use of these dollars for the project. I think it’s great that we’re keeping it local.”

Bevelheimer told aldermen the Mid-Town Business District was created because the EAVs (equalized assessed values) were declining.

“That was shown by the last five years’ worth of data,” he told aldermen. “This hopefully will change that trend.”

Bevelheimer saw the agreement with Marx as an example of how the district’s 1 percent tax was designed to help.

“The intent was for the money was to develop more retail, which obviously generates more sales tax, which helps those people to do more developments,” Bevelheimer said.

Planet Fitness, founded in 1992, is based in Hampton, N.H. It operates more than 2,300 fitness centers in all 50 states. It also has locations in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico and Australia. Business Insider reported in 2017 that Planet Fitness is the nation’s fastest growing fitness center franchise. Memberships are $10 a month.

The closest Planet Fitness franchise to Quincy is in Burlington, Iowa.

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