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Former Macy’s Site in Chestnut Hill Will be the Home of a New Fitness Club, Cinema

Work has started at the former Macy's site and demolition will begin next week.

The former Macy's site at the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center will soon be home to a fitness center, cinema and several retail stores.

The Sports Club/LA will be one of the new tenants at 55 Boylston St., according to property owner WS Development.

Work recently began on the exterior of the old Macy's building to prepare the site for demolition and construction fencing has been set up in the area.

WS Development Director of Corporate Marketing David Fleming told Newton Patch Monday that construction crews have been piecing down the outside of the structure and removing asbestos from the 1950s-era building.

Fleming said demolition of the Macy's building is set to start next week. 

The 130,000-square-foot department store after Macy's decided to shut down a number of its "underperforming" locations. 

Over the next few months, crews will start building the 31,000-square-foot fitness center, which currently has a location in downtown Boston. Fleming said The Sports Club/LA has a target opening date of December 2012. 

As for the cinema, Fleming said WS Development is not ready to announce the name of the theatre company that will be moving into the site. 

Earlier this year, WS Development told the Boston Globe that the new cinema at 55 Boylston St.  located at 27 Boylston St.

Demolition of the Macy's building, Fleming said, is part of a "second phase" of redevelopment at the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center. The first phase included the renovation of the and several of the ground-level retail stores. 

In addition to the new building at 55 Boylston St., the second phase also includes the demolition of the City Sports/Century Bank building a few doors down at 33 Boylston St., Fleming said. That part of the project, , will result in a new, three-story, mixed-use building that will include retail stores as well as office space for WS Development. 

Once construction is completed at the former Macy's site, City Sports will be one of the retailers in the new space, Fleming said. 

A number of other "specialty retailers" will also move in on the ground-level at 55 Boylston St., Fleming said, while the fitness center will be on the upper level. 

Fleming could not confirm the new building's total square footage, but that it will remain close to the current 130,000-square-foot footprint of the Macy's building. Completion dates for the cinema and retail stores were not immediately available. 

The work at the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center is not the only development on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill; construction across the street at is ongoing. and another fitness center are set to move into that location, which used to be the home of an Omni Foods supermarket. 

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