Are Gyms Again a Hit with Landlords?

Landlords are again courting health clubs and studios, according to a Nov. 8 article by the New York Times.

A focus on wellness and communal experiences after the isolation and illnesses experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic are driving people back to gyms, and that means foot traffic for landlords who are desperate to get people back to their retail spaces suffering due to the increase in online shopping.

The types of gyms doing the best are high-volume, low-priced clubs and boutique studios, according to the article.

Fitness centers occupied 2 million square feet of retail space at the end of 2021, and that increased by more than 4.5 million square feet in the first three months of 2022, Brandon Isner, head of retail research for the Americas at real estate services firm CBRE, told the Times.

In the past, some landlords may have hesitated to rent space to gyms that might have been noisy and needed expensive renovations, but now as more corporate space is vacated due to more work-from-home employees, landlords are looking more favorably at gyms.

Parham Javaheri, chief property development officer at Life Time, told the Times: “Years ago, 90 percent of club pipeline was us calling landlords and developers. Now at least 50 percent of work is from inbound interest.”

Read the full article by going here. (A subscription to the Times may be required.)