HEMLOCK TOWNSHIP -- The Columbia Mall near Bloomsburg is getting a Planet Fitness.
There were not many people walking inside the Columbia Mall near Bloomsburg, but then again, there aren't many stores there.
"I used to when there was the Gap and a bookstore. I wish they'd bring a bookstore back. I have to go to Wilkes-Barre if I want to go to a Barnes and Noble," said Philip Dalo of Berwick.
Customers have high hopes that the state of the Columbia Mall could soon change.
The national chain Planet Fitness will soon set up shop where Sears used to be until it closed more than two years ago.
"Oh, I think it's great for the mall! The space has got to be used," said Rob Conner of Benton.
Michael Demarco has had an office for the Hemlock Municipal Sewer Cooperative inside the Columbia Mall for about seven years. He's noticed a lot of stores leave.
"I think Planet Fitness is a good use of the space. I think it will serve the customers and community well."
The Columbia Mall and other places are taking the nontraditional approach. Instead of retail stores, they're bringing in destination places like Planet Fitness and Bloom Bounce.
Business is booming at Bloom Bounce and owner Jenn Rarig believes it will be the same for Planet Fitness.
"To really find a new way of filling the space," said Rarig. "Having a national tenant in this mall is huge. It's going to bring a lot of faces to this mall. It's going to really reinvent the mall itself and bring more tenants to us."
Planet Fitness is scheduled to open in the spring and take up about half of the space vacated by Sears.