Lucille Roberts, New York, is moving into the South with plans to open at least 50 franchised clubs. The company signed an agreement with Jerry Cohn and David Tannen to be area developers throughout Florida and Georgia, the company announced. Lucille Roberts has nearly 50 company-owned women-only clubs in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“Florida and Georgia are priority growth markets for Lucille Roberts, and we’re excited to expand the brand’s footprint beyond the Northeast for the first time in the company’s more than 40-year history,” Kevin Roberts, president of Lucille Roberts Health Clubs Franchising Inc., said in a release from the company. “Backed by our experienced franchising experts and one-of-a-kind approach to women’s fitness, Lucille Roberts is uniquely positioned to capitalize on a growing demand currently not being met in these markets.”

Boca Raton, FL-based Cohn and Tannen, who have 35 years of experience in franchise development with Century 21 Real Estate and more than 250 Pak Mail locations in the Southeast, will be area developers for the company. They are seeking entrepreneurs to invest in or own new Lucille Roberts franchised locations with single and multi-unit development opportunities available. Prospective franchisees can either be active owner/operators or passive investors looking to diversify their portfolio. Lucille Roberts clubs typically range from 4,000 to 6,000 square feet, and the cost to open a club is approximately $300,000 with minimum liquid assets of $100,000, the company noted in the release. Financing may be available for qualified applicants.

“Lucille Roberts offers an extremely low cost for members, starting at only $5 per week, which gives prospective franchisees a distinct selling advantage over the competition and a predictive revenue model upon which to build their business,” Cohn said in the release. “Despite the current economic climate, Lucille Roberts sales continue to increase system-wide because of the value we deliver to members, which includes the use of all club equipment, Zumba dance classes, and a wide variety of fitness and wellness programs.”

Lucille Roberts ranked No. 32 on Club Industry's Top 100 Clubs list this year with $35 million in 2010 revenue.