Thursday, November 6, 2008

LA Fitness Chain Picks Oakley For Fourth Local Club

“LA Fitness signed a 15-year lease on an Oakley site once held by Home Depot, making for its fourth planned location in this market. The fitness center is expected to open in spring 2009, said William Horner, senior vice president/chief real estate officer of the Irvine, Calif.-based chain. It will occupy a 56,000-square-foot building that will include racquetball courts, exercise studios, a stationary cycle studio, a three-lane lap pool and a baby-sitting facility. This LA Fitness will follow clubs in Hamilton, Sycamore Township and Crescent Springs, the latter two of which are under construction. But it also enters into a swell of competition from Urban Active Fitness Clubs and other chains that are expanding across Greater Cincinnati. Such competition, Horner said, is not a concern.‘When a club opens it heightens the awareness and expands the market, as opposed to fighting for the 10 people who work out in the area,’ he said. He cited Atlanta, a city where LA Fitness operates 25 sites. Before it entered the market, about 10 percent of residents exercised. A decade later, the figure is 20 percent. In Cincinnati, 19 percent of the population holds a fitness club membership, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. ‘Those are pretty impressive numbers,’ said Kara Thompson, spokeswoman. Still, that’s down from 2004 to 2006, when it was 22 percent. Chris Barry, spokesman for National Retail Properties, said construction should begin soon. ‘We just purchased the property in August so it’s not going to be too much longer,’ Barry said.”^1718344&surround=etf

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