Launch East Brunswick, Crunch Fitness Among new Businesses Coming to Former Route 18 Kmart Site

By Susan Loyer
Bridgewater Courier News

May 3, 2019
 – An indoor trampoline park and family entertainment center and a gym are among the new businesses coming to the former Kmart site on Route 18.

Launch East Brunswick and two other businesses, including Crunch Fitness, will be located in the front portion of the property, according to Carey Tajfel, president of TFE Properties, a real estate and land development company based in East Windsor, which owns the property. They are scheduled to open during the fourth quarter of this year, he said.

Launch East Brunswick will open in a one-story facility that consists of about 40,000 square feet of usable space, said Ashar Nafis of Nutley, who owns the local franchise.

Launch East Brunswick is a Launch Trampoline Park franchise. Launch Trampoline Park is co-owned and co-founded by former New England Patriots football player Ty Law along with Rob Arnold.

According to Nafis, Launch Trampoline Park has franchises in about 22 locations around the country – most located in the Northeast – with about nine additional locations expected to open this year.

Locally, there is a Launch Trampoline Park in Linden, according to the Launch Trampoline Park website.

Launch East Brunswick, which will be open year-round, will feature two main attractions – trampoline courts, which offer a variety of activities with trampolines, and a 12-lane bowling alley, Nafis said.

The park will include laser tag, a children’s soft play area, arcades, virtual reality games, a rope course and an escape room, he said.

Launch is a “family attraction,” with activities for all ages, Nafis said.

“Different things are put together for different age groups,” he said. “If kids want to enjoy time on a trampoline, parents can spend time bowling.”

According to its website, Launch Trampoline Park offers various amenities including trampoline activities such as a slam dunk basketball court, flipping into foam pits and trampoline dodge ball. There’s a Cliffhanger indoor mountain rock wall, which includes a variety of wall difficulties for all skill levels, and a multi-attraction battle pit, where visitors can joust on a battle beam or bosu balls.

There’s also fury laser tag and Ninja course, Nafis said.

Launch East Brunswick also will include about six rooms for birthday parties.

“If a local business want to arrange a holiday party or some other get together or a training session, we’ll have a corporate room available,” Nafis said.

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Typically, the franchises also offer early morning classes on the trampolines for mothers and toddlers, he said.

“I’m more than happy to try different things,” Nafis said. “You have to be open to new ideas and add new features that kids will like and the family will find safe.”

The facility also will feature an in-house cafeteria, which focuses on “healthy meals and healthy snacks,” he said.

Nafis became interested in the family entertainment business about two years ago when he visited an entertainment center owned by a friend in Canada.

“I really liked it,” he said. “Any indoor entertainment is always a center attraction for the town, kids and families. It’s a healthier activity and gives more options to the family in the town. It’s a great way to entertain kids away from iPads and iPhones and that kind of thing and keep them out of trouble. It’s also a good way for families to spend time together. I always thought if I would try to do something, entertainment would be a good thing. ”

Nafis said he began exploring his options and found Launch.

“They are very energetic and open to new ideas,” he said. “What I realized earlier in the process is that just relying on trampolines is not going to be good in the long term. How many times are you going to take kids to one kind of a family entertainment park?”

When the East Brunswick location became available, Nafis jumped at the opportunity.

“I thought this definitely is the place for a family entertainment park,” he said. “The location is great. It’s an area that can easily be accessed. There is also ample parking for visitors.”

The landlord also has been very supportive, he said.

Nafis owns four Launch franchise licenses in the state.

“This is the first one I’m opening,” he said. “I’m hoping to open three more facilities in Central and Northeast New Jersey.”

Crunch Fitness will occupy more than 20,000 square feet, Tajfel said.

READ: East Brunswick middle school arts curriculum will remain intact for now

Crunch Fitness has franchised clubs locally in North Brunswick, Somerset section of Franklin, Woodbridge and Green Brook, according to its website.

The other business that will located in the front portion is still to be determined as that space is currently being marketed, Tajfel said.

The Clothing Center will be relocating to a smaller space in the middle of the side of the building, Tajfel said.

The entire rear of the building will be converted into a two-story, self-storage facility, operated by CubeSmart, he said. The facility will feature close to 1,000 storage units.

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