Brothers Kyle and Jalal Rahal, who own Powerhouse Gym on Central Avenue, hope to open another location at One Lake Erie Center on Huron Street.
Deborah Younger, acting director of development for the city, said negotiations with Eyde Co., which owns One Lake Erie, have been productive and Powerhouse “is close to signing a lease.”
The mayor said part of the negotiations involve providing a low- interest loan to the Rahals, but it will be up to council to decide whether they will sign off on it.
“It's not definite, but we're certainly working on putting it together,” Mayor Finkbeiner said of the deal. “It's not yet signed and sealed. I would hope that we could get it done this month.”
The deal, he said, will hinge on “our ability to get council, and I think they will, to say [yes] to probably a little more generous contribution [than] the city would normally make to something like this.”
The mayor, however, said whether the Rahals can get bank financing for their part of the deal also is critical.
Getting a health club to locate downtown has been one of Mr. Finkbeiner's longtime goals. He sees the move as critical in luring young people to live downtown.
Kyle Rahal said the downtown location is perfect for a gym, and he hopes a deal can be worked out.
“The blueprints are already done. The business plan is already done. That's how interested I am,” he said.
Mr. Rahal said he also hopes council will approve the financing package.
Sam Eyde, the East Lansing, Mich., developer who owns One Lake Erie Center, has expressed his desire to have a health club in the building.
He previously talked with the Michigan Athletic Club about locating there. Known as the MAC, the club is adjacent to Eyde's headquarters in East Lansing, but those talks did not produce a deal.