Route 1 is having a fitness boom.
A Gold’s Gym at Riverdale Park Station, opening this spring, will join CrossFit Hyattsville, an LA Fitness at Prince George’s Plaza (and another in Greenbelt), a Planet Fitness at the Mall at Prince George’s and an iLoveKickboxing studio at University Town Center. There is even a gym at the Prince George’s Community Center.
That’s not to mention Yoga Space and Love Yoga Studio in Hyattsville, Bikram Yoga Riverdale, Open Barre Studios and Numi Yoga in College Park and Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, which offers yoga, pilates and dance classes. There’s also the Espaco Cultural Samba Trovao, a Brazilian cultural center in downtown Hyattsville, which offers Capoeira Angola and samba dance classes, and Adinkra Cultural Arts Studio in Mount Rainier, which has a variety of African dance classes for both kids and adults.
It’s not a coincidence that Gold’s Gym is moving near the new Whole Foods. Like grocery stores — which are also having a boom along Route 1 — fitness centers are immune to the damage that online sales is doing to traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores. In fact, they are benefiting from it.
Analysts say that cheaper commercial real estate has made it easier for gyms — which can range from 2,000 to 20,000 square feet — to find new locations. Franchises like Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness and Planet Fitness are growing rapidly.
Commercial developers also like gyms because — like grocery stores — they bring people back to the shopping center on at least a weekly basis, if not more. That means more foot traffic for other stores, especially at night.
Residential developers like them too. A nearby gym is as good an amenity as granite countertops, even if residents don’t end up using it. (One developer estimates that a fitness center inside an apartment building boosts its value by 10 percent.) Even the Arts District Hyattsville has a small gym in the Lustine Center.
The fitness boom along Route 1 is probably at its peak for now, until the market can support a high-end gym like Equinox, there’s probably not much more demand.
Gold’s Gym at Riverdale Park Station is already offering a special pre-opening membership offer. Amenities will include a sauna, bootcamp, and a kids club.