Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fitness Club Gets Pumped Up

“Robious Sports & Fitness Club will be getting a new owner and a million-dollar upgrade. Boxwood, a Richmond-based merchant bank, purchased the 20-year-old club from CJW Medical Center for an undisclosed price. CJW is a part of the Hospital Corporation of America. First Market Bank provided the financing. In 2009, Chesterfield County assessed the land and buildings — on Koger road behind the Chesterfield Towne Center mall — at $7.4 million. Boxwood is in the process of hiring a firm to design a master plan, which will call for $1 million to $1.5 million in renovations to the facility. The renovations ‘could include an expanded child-care area, additional indoor tennis courts, new carpet, and a whole new look and feel around the facility,’ said Patrick Galleher, a principal at Boxwood, adding that the work may start within a few months. ‘We may potentially put in a 24-hour area where members can come in and out with key-card access,’ Galleher said. The health club industry is highly competitive, but one of the few to see growth in the past few years around Richmond. Both Gold’s Gym and American Family Fitness have expanded locally, and several upstarts have also found new niches. (You can read about one new style of gyms here). Galleher said Robious S&F has several strong competitive advantages, including tennis and racquetball facilities, as well as training and summer camps and a swimming pool. The facility is spread over 11 acres and encompasses 70,000 square feet in Midlothian. ‘It’s a lot more family oriented, like a country club without the golf course,’ he said, adding that the club doesn’t compete with Gold’s and has a more convenient location than a new American Family Fitness gym. Memberships cost between $70 and $100 a month.”

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