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VOL. 123 | NO. 217 | Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fitness Company to Build $8.5M Facility in G’town

By Eric Smith

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SWEAT EQUITY: This artist’s rendering shows what the $8.5 million fitness center will look like on Wolf Trail Cove in Germantown. -- RENDERING COURTESY OF URBAN ACTIVE FITNESS

Memphians will have a new place to work out once Lexington, Ky.-based Urban Active Fitness completes its plan to bring an $8.5 million, 48,000-square-foot fitness facility to Wolf Trail Cove in Germantown.

The company’s development division, P & P Real Estate LLC, recently filed a permit application with the city-county Department of Construction Code Enforcement to build a two-story athletic club at 7750 Wolf Trail Cove, just west of South Germantown Road and north of Wolf River Boulevard.

Construction is expected to begin as soon as permits are approved and should take 12 months, said Mark Yates, director of development for P & P Real Estate and Urban Active Fitness.

It’s the first Memphis-area facility for the fitness chain, which has 33 locations in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee, including four centers in the Nashville area. Yates said the timing was right to extend the company’s footprint into the Mid-South.

“We honestly feel that it’s a good opportunity for us,” Yates said. “The market currently is a little underserved with a product like what we bring. And we love the demographic. It just fits our profile of what we do.”

If the shoe fits

Urban Active Fitness is operated by Lexington-based Global Fitness Holdings LLC, formerly the largest franchisee of Gold’s Gym locations. Global Fitness Holdings ended its Gold’s Gym relationship in November 2007 and simultaneously launched its Urban Active Fitness brand.

The company’s roots date back to 1994, when Royce Pulliam opened a fitness center in Lexington called World Gym. He expanded to seven locations by 2000 before converting them to the Gold’s Gym brand and then deciding to branch off on his own.

Urban Active Fitness now builds four prototype centers starting at 36,000 square feet. The 48,000-square-foot facility slated for Memphis is the company’s second largest after its 53,000-square-foot model.

“It’s the only thing I could fit on that site,” Yates said. “The ‘53K’ didn’t fit on that cul-de-sac.”

The Germantown center will include all the latest in fitness amenities, such as a machine and free weights, a group fitness spinning room, an aerobics room and pool, men’s and women’s locker rooms and “120 pieces of cardio equipment,” Yates said.

EOP Architects, also of Lexington, is the architect, and Urban Active Fitness is in negotiation with a general contractor for the project.

First things first

Urban Active Fitness has been planning its entry into the Memphis market for almost a year. The company’s real estate division in January paid $4 million for 6.82 acres of vacant land in the Nohopa Center on the west side of Wolf Trail Cove. At that time P & P Real Estate also filed an $11.4 million loan through Fifth Third Bank for land purchase and construction of the facility.

The company’s first Memphis-area location will be part of busy cul-de-sac. Urban Active Fitness joins a booming area that has been peppered with medical office buildings and other retail.

Wolf Trail Medical Partners is constructing a second $2.7 million, two-story, 10,800-square-foot medical building on Wolf Trail Cove joining another medical building of equal shape and size.

Also under construction on Wolf Trail Cove is a 72-room, 45,500-square-foot Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites slated to open next door to Urban Active Fitness in February 2009.

The owners of Urban Active Fitness plan to be in 40 communities in six states by the end of 2009. Yates called the company’s arrival in the Memphis area a “natural progression,” and not the only location slated for this area.

“It will obviously be more than a single-store market for us,” he said, declining to comment on where the company would consider building other centers. “We are actively pursuing other locations right now, but we want to get this one under our belt and then move forward.”

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 32 176 2,507
MORTGAGES 26 101 1,687
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 10 37 259
BUILDING PERMITS 0 365 5,497
BANKRUPTCIES 16 57 963
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 107 488
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0