Article posted by Bisnow, LLC (www.bisnow.com) Posted July 13, 2017 by Alec Berkman.
Fitness centers are still a must-have in any community, according to the National Apartment Association. They are the most upgraded community-wide amenity since 2014, and J Turner Research found that 46% of tenants are willing to pay a premium for centers with classes.
Installation costs can thus be conveyed to residents in the form of higher rents and quickly recouped. The inclusion of well-designed centers can foster tenant interaction and cohesion, making them a property manager’s weapon of choice in today’s amenity wars. The fitness center has transformed dramatically over the decades, and an obsolete space can be a serious detriment to an apartment complex’s appeal.
The fitness solution specialists at Opti-Fit shared what they perceive to be the four hallmarks of truly exceptional spaces:
1. Conscientiously designed
Conscientious professional design has become paramount as exercisers’ preferred workouts grow increasingly diverse and exotic. Multifamily gym footprints are often compressed to accommodate other amenities, so maximizing versatility and usability is key. Pros accomplish this with multi functional, movable equipment tailored to the gym’s layout. Opti-Fit’s approach emphasizes providing for all ages and experience levels to democratize the space and maintain compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Opti-Fit’s team partners with architects, interior designers, and contractors for comprehensively delivered spaces. It uses 3D technology to ensure results meet expectations, and its renderings can be used in marketing materials and investor presentations.
2. Reflective of trends
Adapting the fitness center to various workout types has historically entailed designating certain areas for cardio, stretching and weight training, but now necessitates adding yoga, cycling and functional training areas. Segregating these activities can prevent injuries caused by exerciser free-for-all, and imbue novice exercisers with a greater degree of confidence and comfort. Circuit trainers should be able to make their way through the gym predictably.
3. Customized and branded
The importance of branding visibility cannot be overstated. By using easily recognized, top-of-the-line equipment, multifamily groups can differentiate themselves from competing apartments. Opti-Fit favors Matrix, Star Trac, Stairmaster, Schwinn and TRX for equipment selection. Similarly, property managers proud of their gyms can customize their logo and colors around the space, drawing attention to the people maintaining and providing the gym. This can promote retention and loyalty.
4. Full of light, ambiance, and outdoor space
Fitness centers should not be utilitarian, windowless, fluorescent lit and predominantly concrete. Many exercisers want a more lifestyle-oriented, relaxing atmosphere that motivates and makes exercise a pleasure rather than a chore. Incorporating outdoor space (if climate permits) and natural light by taking advantage of sweeping views on a top floor can help accomplish this.