‘iLoveKickboxing’ Revives Pugilism at Former G&S Sporting Goods on Essex Street
Where boxing gear once ruled for decades, a new kickboxing concept will soon open shop.
iLoveKickboxing, the gym which operates 100 training sites in all 50 states, just signed a 15-year lease at 43 Essex Street. The eight-year-old company will occupy 4,000 square-feet of commercial space at the tenement building, located just south of Grand Street.
Merrick, Long Islander Michael Parrella founded iLoveKickboxing in 2009. He began franchising out the business three years later.
Given the pugilistic pedigree of this particular Lower East Side storefront – G&S Sporting Goods held court here for 77 years – it’s somewhat fitting that a kickboxing establishment would get in the ring here.
But the arrival of iLoveKickboxing is the latest chapter in the ongoing drama at 43 Essex Street. The retail space had been on the market for nearly three years before they signed on the dotted line. Meanwhile, drama unfolded above.
Landlord Dean Galasso was indicted back in April on six felony charges in a scheme to fraudulently obtain a multi-million dollar mortgage to buy 43 Essex Street. The Zerling family owned the building for decades until selling to Galasso in 2014 for $6.9 million. During the requisite conversion, residents were allegedly faced with a campaign of harassment. A civil lawsuit was later filed, and Galasso settled last December.