Racquet Club of Concord renovations to begin in three to four months
The city’s planning board has approved a multimillion dollar renovation of the Racquet Club of Concord, which will be turned over to the owners of the Executive Health & Sports Club in Manchester.
Mike Benton, one of those owners, said the planning board’s approval is the first step in transforming the Racquet Club into a high-quality health club like his Manchester facility.
“The wheels are moving forward,” Benton said.
Senior Planner Becky Hebert said the site plan for Benton’s renovations to the Racquet Club was approved Wednesday because it met all the board’s requirements.
“I think it will improve upon the existing health club and make some needed renovations,” Hebert said.
Yesterday’s go-ahead from the planning board was the next step toward closing the sale of the Racquet Club, Benton said.
Concord A.C. Tennis Division Inc., whose owners did not respond to requests for comment, currently owns the facility. The owners of Executive Health & Sports Center have a purchase-and-sales agreement that Benton said can now go forward.
“We’re excited, we’re absolutely excited,” he said.
Benton’s team will now hire a contractor and begin the real design phase of the project. It could be three to four months before construction begins.
The project will be completed in three phases, which would eventually increase the health club by nearly 30,000 square feet and add space for medical offices.
“It will be a brand new facility,” Benton said in an interview earlier this month.
One of the city’s conditions for approval was that Benton’s crews add a right-turn lane into the facility at the intersection of Garvins Falls Road and Manchester Street, Hebert said. That will happen during the first phase of the renovations.
“I think that will help to mitigate the impact of the development and the operation of the intersection as it is now,” Hebert said.
Benton expected the health club could stay partially open through all three phases of construction.
“We’re going to try and support our customers, current and future, as best we can,” Benton said. “Our goal is to try and keep it open.”
As he takes over, Benton said his team would work with each employee at the current Racquet Club while hiring staff for the new facility.
“It’ll be by an employee-by-employee basis,” Benton said. “I’m certainly not coming in to say everybody’s fired. That’s not going to happen.”
Members who also stick around will be rewarded when the Racquet Club officially changes hands, Benton said.
“We can guarantee that those who stay with us will have the best financial membership offering,” Benton said. “Those that are joined in our pre-construction or during-construction offering will also have the best membership offerings in both the short and the long term.” Benton couldn’t say what the cost of a membership at the new facility will be, but he expected the rate would be competitive with other options in the Concord area.
“The sooner they join, the better off their membership position will be,” he said.
(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)