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24 Hour Fitness No Longer Interested in Former Nissan Dealership

Even without the zoning that would allow it, developer talking to health food grocers and another potential gym.

The former Nissan dealership in Rancho Santa Margarita. Patch photo credit: Martin Henderson.
The former Nissan dealership in Rancho Santa Margarita. Patch photo credit: Martin Henderson.

24 Hour Fitness is no longer interested in relocating to the former Nissan dealership that has sparked controversy in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Theory R Properties bought the former Family Nissan site in 2012. Initially, it wanted to rezone the 4.75-acre property to allow a retail center, anchored by 24 Hour Fitness.

Another gym is interested, but 24 Hour Fitness is out, said Theory R Principal Joe Daichendt.

“They [24 Hour Fitness] have chosen not to build their latest prototype in RSM,” Daichendt said.

Additionally, the firm is talking with some health food grocers about the possibility of coming to Rancho Santa Margarita, he said.

As for finding another dealership – for which the majority city leaders have expressed their willingness to wait because of the additional tax dollars dealerships bring in – Daichendt said Theory R would still consider it.

“We continue to pursue dealership opportunities and conversations continue with one to two groups per month, but it is an exercise in futility as the outcomes continue to be the same with no one being able to secure a new car franchise for the location,” he said.

Now that both Planning Commission and the City Council have rejected Theory R’s attempts to rezone the property for general commercial use, the developer has filed paperwork with the city to gather signatures and try to put the matter on the November ballot.

Meanwhile, a group called Save RSM is planting signs all around town, urging residents not to sign the paperwork that would put the matter before the voters. It characterizes Daichendt as an “out of town” developer who stands to make millions, while damaging the city and its coffers with a strip mall.

The group has already attracted 201 likes to its Facebook page.

LeAna Bui March 19, 2014 at 12:03 AM
There are signs going up because someone has the money to do it. Let's see - whoever Save RSM is, they have money and they are from outside RSM - sounds like a special interest group outside RSM to me. Supposedly, this is the big negative against Theory R, but it applies to Save RSM as well.
Duane Gamble March 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Good morning RSM!!! Let's see where should I start? Hey old timer from Dove Canyon, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you out of towners mean nothing to the "all knowing council majority" so please do not waste your time chiming in here and of course I would understand if you therefore chose not to buy a new car and/or work out in another nearby city. Which makes me wonder why are the Beall's so against workng out, and how long can they boycott gyms all the way to Election Day? Please don't shoot the messenger!
Duane Gamble March 19, 2014 at 12:21 PM
Shawn, Did you lose a bet? Or exactly why do you keep avoiding answering the questions we all ask and instead play apologist for April and the "all knowing council majority" are you shooting to be future council woman April Fool's Planning Commissioner? If so, please be prepared to buy her dinner after the meetings she prefers BJ's and Honda Bob will be your biggest fan if you grab the check first for a change. I think you locked in the appointment when you said to Nick? after he showed that April was the registrar of the SAVERSM FaceBook page, after she denied it and then you said at least she is above board about it, yep you are a shoe in for Planning Commission. Speaking of which how big is your garage? You buy an awful lot of CARS do you have a lot of kids of driving age or just liked the movie? Okay enough snark, so it's really difficult to figure out the "muzzlers", Theory R doesn't want to have any of the so many interested auto dealers that are banging down their doors, because they'd rather spend lots of money on attorneys and contractors to build a strip mall that will make millions more, but then you say that strip mall will be vacant...Huh?!?
James Skorheim March 20, 2014 at 12:23 PM
http://www.autonews.com/article/20090209/RETAIL07/302099679
James Skorheim March 20, 2014 at 03:34 PM
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/dealership-264040-ocprint-auto-site.html

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