Danville Express

Newsfront - November 16, 2007

Little Gym closes at Blackhawk

Parents shocked to find the doors closed

by Natalie O'Neill

Members of The Little Gym in Blackhawk Plaza were surprised to find the children's facility closed suddenly Monday for unknown reasons.

"I'm sad because my kids love it. I paid for classes through January and it's at least 180 bucks they owe me back," said Jeanne Kalin, who had her child's birthday party at the gym the day before it shut down.

Signs went up Tuesday afternoon, announcing The Little Gym in Pleasant Hill had agreed to honor existing memberships. Plaza management corrected the signs the following day, noting that members would get a 50 percent discount, not a free transfer.

Rent has gone up in Blackhawk Plaza recently, now that big names like Anthropologie and Banana Republic are on their way in, said Rocky McMurtray, who is in charge of leasing.

But Blackhawk Plaza Manager Tricia Wilkalis said The Little Gym had a fixed rent rate for the next few years, according to a leasing contract.

"We were as surprised as the members were," she said, adding the plaza had recently done a revamp of the gym.

Kalin said the employees working at her child's party Sunday did not seem to know what was about to happen.

"It's upsetting," she said.


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