SOUTH TAMPA, Fla. -
The possibility of a new Trader Joe's supermarket in South Tampa has some folks excited. Others have concerns though, especially members at Shapes, since th gym may be closing as a result.
"They have not been telling me anything," said Pamela Allison. "I don't know where we are going," said Lucy Castellano. "We don't know everything about it yet," said Carolyn Patch.
The only thing certain for members of the South Tampa Shapes, is uncertainty.
Rumor has it that a new Trader Joe's is going to be built right where the gym now sits near the corner of Swann Avenue and South Dale Mabry Highway.
The staff doesn't know, either, said Allison. She has been working out at the gym since the 1980s and she is worried she will have to move to a new gym, one that might not be as convient or for women only.
"There are some people who want to work out in a women's gym and sometimes it's a religious circumstance," she said.
Shapes member Lucy Castellano adds, "I don't feel comfortable exercising with a guy next to me," as she laughed.
Castellano has also heard the rumors, "They have not given us a definite date, but it is happening Saturday will be our last pool day."
The other option in the Shapes contracts, according to the women I spoke with, is a pro-rated refund.
I went inside Shapes to get some answers about the closing and what will happen with the memberships. I was told by an employee at the front desk "no comment" three times.
Shapes member and Swann Estates Neighborhood Association Vice-President Karen Miller says she's concerned about more traffic and day care right across the street. "In my opinion, the parking lot is way too small for an operation like that, and the roads leading up to it are too small." She canvassed the neighborhood and found that many disagree with her.
"More neighbors are interested in having Trader Joe's here than versus being concerned about traffic," said Miller.
The Shapes members I spoke with didn't seem to care much about Trader Joe's. They said they will miss the gym and the longtime friends they have made there.
"We are all unhappy that they are having to close, because we like it and it's an old women's gym and we are old ladies," said Patch.
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