Crunch time: This buzz is making a lot of League City residents sit up.

Crunch Franchise earlier this month announced it would open a $2.5 million, 24-hour fitness center in the space formerly occupied by Kroger, 200 Interstate 45 S. in League City Plaza.

Crunch, a health and fitness club, will open a 27,000-square-foot center in the former store, which will be subdivided to accommodate three different businesses, said Meagan Froehlich, marketing specialist for Weingarten Realty, which has owned the shopping center since 1997.

Crunch League City will offer “miles” of cardio and strength-training equipment, half-hour circuit training, a training area with indoor turf, a dedicated group fitness studio featuring more than 70 classes a week, tanning beds, spray tanning, massage and more.

Crunch League City is owned by Tony Hartl, who owns Crunch centers in Waco and Killeen, and plans to bring 21 Crunch gyms to the Austin and Central Texas area over the next five years, according to reports.

Kroger left the center in June of 2016 when it opened a 123,000-square-foot Kroger Market Place at 1920 W. League City Parkway.

Power struggle: Meanwhile, is anyone else tracking a tool trend in the county? Burnsville, Minnesota-based Northern Tool + Equipment is rumored to be hammering out a lease in the former Kroger space, though Weingarten officials declined to confirm negotiations.

Northern Tool sells specialized equipment — in-store and online — such as trailers, trailer parts, pressure washers, power generators, industry-specific hand tools, hydraulic parts, meat mixers for wild game, light industrial equipment and more. The company would be new to the market and would join retail rival Harbor Freight, which has a Webster store and is soon to open one in Texas City.

Harbor Freight sells a full selection of tools and accessories in categories including automotive, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, hand tools and more. Stay tuned.

On the rise: Look soon for a commercial center to rise near the intersection of state Highway 646 N. and FM 1764 in Santa Fe.

The Linda Center will feature a doughnut shop, run by the center’s owners Linda and Thol Nou, and will offer additional space for lease, said Vaun Henry project manager. Hanes Construction is the general contractor.

Crews have done some preparation work, such as removing some trees and installing culverts, Henry said. A fence to separate construction from the nearby neighborhood was expected to be erected last week. Look for a fall opening, Henry said.

Lagniappe: That building underway at 711 25th St. — near city hall and the Federal Building in Galveston – is soon to be home to a Cajun cuisine restaurant and some retail shops.

Details were scarce, but island businessman Shlomo “Mony” Hamo, who owns souvenir shops Dolphin World, has applied for a wine and beer retailer’s permit and food and beverage certificate for a venture doing business as Old Salty Cajun Seafood House & Grill. No word on an opening date.

Hamo couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Stay tuned.

Mailbag: A reader emailed: “What is going into the building in Webster where Macaroni Grill used to be located?”

BB’s Café, known for Louisiana-style cuisine, is planning a July opening at the site, 1039 W. Bay Area Blvd., reports the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

The Webster location will mark the 10th Houston area BB’s Café, which operates in Houston city limits, Katy, Cypress and Pearland.

BB’s Cafe’s, which serves cajun-fried seafood, crawfish boils and gumbo, has earned a cult following in the years since its Montrose debut in 2007, the partnership reports. Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, one of Houston’s most famous residents, is known to visit the eatery.

Laura Elder: 409-683-5248;

(1) comment

PS Robbins

BB’s Cafe’s will be a major upgrade to the Cajun Creole, Seafood options in North Galveston County. Cannot wait for the opening in July !!

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