Photo by Michael Shain
Bell Plaza Sports Club shut its doors permanently after 30 years in Bayside.

Bell Plaza Sports Club issued a letter to its members informing them they would have to find a new gym June 28. The fitness facility, located at 45-58 Bell Blvd., had been in Bayside for 30 years, and its closing two days later shocked the community.

According to the letter, owners had arranged with 24 Hour Fitness at 245-24 Horace Harding Expressway in Little Neck to honor the membership costs and prepaid fees of Bell Plaza. Certain members will even receive 24 Hour Fitness’s Ultra-Sport access, an $85 deal, for the original cost of membership at the Bayside facility.

“While Bell Plaza has been a special ‘community’ club for over 30 years, we’re confident that you will find yourself at home at 24 Hour Fitness and be able to achieve whatever fitness goals you set for yourself,” the notification of closure said. “They are focused on their members, and with cutting edge programming, they can keep you engaged and give you many more options than we were able to offer. It has been a pleasure to have served you, and we humbly thank you for your patronage.”

A spokesman for City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said the notice came two days prior to closing because the lease on the three-story space rented by Bell Plaza was abruptly canceled. Movers were at the location on Tuesday rolling treadmills down ramps and into trucks to be taken away.

Former staff members could not be reached for comment, but one employee, Michael Constantinou, described on Facebook the shock and confusion of customers who walked in to find the gym, which they had loved and been going to for years, shutting down. Constantinou, who had worked at Bell Plaza for a year, found out the gym was closing on the same day it was scheduled to, according to the social media post. He arrived for his shift on the June 30 and found himself trying to calm members who were not of the closer either. Constantinou said the gym was well loved and understood why customers were angry.

everyone again [sic].”

According to the spokesman and Vallone’s spokesman said there was no word on what will be taking the three-story commercial space where Bell Plaza used to be.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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