World domination? What will be the state’s largest World Gym is flexing for an opening day. Crews are putting the final touches on the 45,000-square-foot World Gym underway at the redeveloped Macy’s building at Mall of the Mainland, 10000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway in Texas City. Rows of treadmills and elliptical machines fill the gym, which is set to open in a week or so. Other cardio equipment includes four Star Trac Tread Climbers and 30 spin bikes. The gym also features a 60-yard indoor track, a private area for women to lift weights, a large free-weight area for everyone and 36 TVs, among other amenities. And it features a CrossFit area and other space for group classes, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba and Body Pump.
Islander David Watson is the architect at the World Gym project. World Gym joins Palais Royal at the 150,000-square-foot Macy’s building, which has been subdivided.
Stars aligning: Friendswood attorney and developer Jerome Karam owns the World Gym franchise in Texas City and expects more tenants to lease space in the former Macy’s building he acquired last year. Already, Matt and Corrie Boyd plan early next month to open Galaxy Nutrition in the building. Galaxy Nutrition will sell supplements, smoothies and some prepared meals to gym members and the general public. Look soon for precise opening dates for both World Gym and Galaxy Nutrition.
Last week, Karam confirmed he had an earnest money contract on the entire 451,000-square-foot mall property, where interior stores were closed last year. Sears, Cinemark and Palais Royal, which in November moved to the Macy’s building, all remained opened.
Karam, who declined to divulge financial terms, said he intends to keep the Mall of the Mainland name and repopulate the property with national and local retailers and other tenants.
Homecoming: A soldier who lived in Hitchcock as a child, returned to his former hometown to open a computer and electronics service business. Anthony Thornabar II has launched All You Need Computer Services, 8717 state Highway 6 in a new strip mall near the FM 2004 intersection. All You Need Computer Services offers diagnostic and repair services, cellphone screen repairs, computer sales, printer installations and more.
“I have always wanted to return to Galveston County and do something for the community that nurtured me so much as a child,” Thornabar said. His maternal grandmother, Hazel Spiller, a retired elementary teacher, still lives in Hitchcock. Also involved in the business are Thornabar’s wife, Betsy, his brother Michael Payne Jr., and his cousin, Jarre Spells.
Much of Thornabar’s computer and technical skills were honed during his six years of military service in the 82nd Airborne Division as a supply sergeant. He served two tours overseas, in Iraq and Afghanistan. A decorated soldier, Thornabar received the Purple Heart as a result of injuries from a mortar that struck the building he was working in near a small frontier village in Ghanzi province of Afghanistan in 2012. He was honorably discharged with the rank of staff sergeant. Thornabar is a graduate of Ohio Valley University in Vienna West Virginia, where he majored in IT.
Lone Star rising: Meanwhile, another entrepreneur is reinvesting in his hometown. Andy McDonald II has opened Lone Star Pharmacy, 4111 FM 1764 in Santa Fe. In the age of big chains, it’s unusual for independent pharmacies to enter the market. But McDonald said his business will offer more personal service and things chains don’t. Lone Star Pharmacy boasts a compounding lab where he can make dose-specific medications that aren’t usually available at chain stores. Lone Star Pharmacy also offers delivery services and McDonald promises waiting times for prescriptions will be far shorter than at his larger competitors. Lone Star Pharmacy plans a grand opening Saturday with refreshments served at 11:30 a.m. and a ribbon-cutting at 12:30 p.m. McDonald is a Santa Fe native. He started out as a delivery driver for a local pharmacy, then moved to a pharmacy tech position. He graduated from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2010.
Retail report: That Biz Buzz item last week about a national retailer planning a La Marque store caused a bit of stir. Sorry, it isn’t a major department store or grocer. It’s a CVS. The pharmacy is underway at 204 Newman next to the Family Dollar. CVS signs are already up at the site.
Landlines: Some League City residents are wondering and worrying about recent land-clearing east of The Home Depot, which is at 3200 Interstate 45. The property is at the Dickinson/League City line bordering on the freeway frontage road. Rumors have been rolling around that a developer plans an RV park on the parcel. But land-clearing and topographical survey work don’t require permits, which means city officials have no record of plans. But they do know that zoning laws would require a developer to secure a specific-use permit from the city council for an RV park at that site. Meanwhile, another unconfirmed rumor says a developer is eyeing the land for an apartment complex. Stay tuned.
What’s that? In other League City buzz, some readers are hungry for answers about activity next to Jimmy Changas, a Tex-Mex eatery at 2504 I-45 in League City. Word has it that a dental office is planned for part of the building, with the remaining space being marketed to a restaurant. The exact square footage wasn’t immediately available. Some prospective eateries are nibbling, but so far no one has signed a lease.
Last year, island restaurateurs and brothers Larry and Tikie Kriticos were deep into a deal to open a League City restaurant before deciding the property they were keen on just wouldn’t work.
The brothers had planned to build an Olympia Grill, known for authentic Greek seafood and other fare, at the development. But the size of the property would only yield about 32 parking spaces after the 150-seat restaurant was built. Stay tuned.
Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.