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Friday, August 29, 2014
CrossFit attempts a comeback
Former West End gym, heavily damaged by Sandy, eyes a new space in Long Beach
By Jasmine Blennau
Anthony Rifilato/Herald
CrossFit co-owner Sean Pastuch said that the new location, at 1079 W. Beech St., above, would be nearly double the size of the previous location, at 901 W. Beech St.

The owners of a former Long Beach business, CrossFit King of the Beach, appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals last month in an attempt to return to the West End, after Hurricane Sandy forced the gym to close. But a number of residents expressed concerns about the high-intensity gym’s comeback — albeit in a new location — saying that the noise its members made was disruptive to the community.

CrossFit opened at 901 W. Beech St. in 2011, and its owners, Michael Abgarian and Sean Pastuch, and landlord, Isabella Realty LLC, became entangled in a lawsuit with two businesses and a resident just east of the gym, including next-door Hamlet Investment Services, owned by Joseph Hamlet, and the Top Hat Barber Shop.

The gym’s owners went before the zoning board on June 26 to request an off-street parking variance in the hope of reopening at a new location, 1079 W. Beech St. — currently home to Kings ’n Things! — between Illinois and Ohio avenues. Pastuch said he wants another chance to be a part of the West End.

“We understand that if we are going to be successful again on the West End, we have to be a part of the community,” Pastuch told the board.

CrossFit is a program of intense strength and conditioning training that incorporates Olympics-style weightlifting, calisthenics, sprints and other exercises usually performed in groups. Pastuch told the Herald that CrossFit King had approximately 200 members — many of them teachers, police officers and other professionals — who paid $175 per month to train there. The lawsuit claimed that the dropping of weights, loud music, grunting, vibrations and other gym activities constituted a public nuisance and were so intrusive that they interfered with neighbors’ businesses, drove customers away and created safety issues for members and passers-by alike, as well as structural damage to the building.

Shortly before Sandy hit, a State Supreme Court judge denied a preliminary injunction ordering CrossFit to close its doors as three of its neighbors moved forward with the lawsuit.

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