Posted on 8 Sep
At the start of the year, we showcased some of the city’s coolest new fitness studios and trends, and since then a whole new crop has emerged, tempting fitness buffs of all ages with innovative, fast-paced workouts in sophisticated spaces. The rise in popularity of boutique fitness studios is so hot—it’s not just fueling L.A.’s notoriously health-driven lifestyle, it’s also driving the city’s commercial real estate market.
Blending innovative, high-energy workouts with sleek interiors and personalized add-ons like espresso bars, branded athletic apparel and high-end merchandise, fitness studios are filling spaces once held by more traditional retail boutiques. What’s more, Angelenos seem more ready and willing to spend a significant chunk of their paychecks on 30-minute specialized boxing classes or new yoga and pilates fusion sessions than they are on the more cost-effective, annual gym membership.
“Fitness use is absorbing a lot of the space that was once reserved for classic retail,” says Alex Koustas, head of The Agency Commercial Advisory. “With the challenge landlords are facing in the retail space, commercial owners are finding creative ways to allow physical fitness offerings to move into their properties so they can monetize on them, often by incorporating a joint physical fitness and retail space.”
With their natural wood elements and light, clean lines, the latest wave of boxing studios looks less like Rocky’s gym and more like your favorite contemporary sushi joint. BoxUnion, the newly-opened, beat-driven boxing studio in Santa Monica, was outfitted by the same designer behind Sugar Fish and Venice’s Rose Cafe.
Meanwhile, in L.A.’s up-and-coming Cypress Park neighborhood, Everybody, an 8,000-square-foot movement and wellness center, blends yoga, Pilates, boxing, spin, and dance classes with holistic wellness offerings such as acupuncture, sound baths, and meditation on a sliding price scale. For the club-going, Downtown loft-dwelling set, MVMT Theory serves as a kind of roaming playground, with an open, loft-like feel where guests can get their sweat on with Sunday morning yoga, intensive choreography programs, album release parties, and workshops with Beyoncé’s backup dancers.
“I’m probably getting three to four physical fitness requests a week, so the demand for these spaces is certainly there,” Alex says. “Whether it’s business partners from the UK who want to do a boxing concept in West Hollywood or a landlord building a subterranean gym with above ground parking—the market is hot.”