December 11, 2012 By Justin Mason

ROTTERDAM – Dave Leon’s first order of business after buying the former Main Florist property last year was to topple the eyesore sign that stood sentry over West Campbell Road for more than half a century.

The dilapidated sign was the last remaining symbol of the former flower shop and was a fitting symbol for a blighted property that remained an unsightly entrance to the town for nearly a decade. Leon, the owner of Planet Fitness, said it wasn’t long after he closed on the deal to purchase the property that he got a phone call from Supervisor Frank Del Gallo, who eagerly implored him to take it down.

Now plans are afoot to finally redevelop the property into a more fitting gateway for the town. Leon has proposed a project that will create an Adirondack lodge-style retail and office structure on the site that will serve as a business hub for his rapidly expanding chain of 15 gyms.

“This will be a really nice free-standing building,” he said Friday.

Plans call for a 12,000-square-foot building that will feature retail spots for a gun shop, laundromat, bank and beauty salon, in addition to 3,100 square feet of office space on the second floor. A second phase of the project would construct an adjoining building that would include an additional 9,000 square feet.