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Landlords Are Loving Gyms Again

Landlords Are Loving Gyms Again

dumbells in gym
The post-pandemic desire for community and wellness has consumers going back to gyms, and that means good news for landlords who want foot traffic

Landlords are loving health clubs and studios once more, according to a New York Times article about the rise in gym foot traffic post-pandemic. With the fall in reported COVID-19 cases from last year, consumers are eager to get back to in-person workouts. While retail shopping experiences have stalled with the rise of online shopping, and corporate spaces have been vacated with the continuation of work-from-home, landlords are looking to gyms to make up for lost revenue.

Space occupied by fitness centers increased to more than 4.5 million square feet in the first three months of this year, from about 2 million at the end of 2021. The growth of fitness spaces has outpaced other types of retailers, according to Brandon Isner, head of retail research for the Americas at CBRE, a real estate services firm. The two ends of the fitness spectrum appear to be performing very well: boutique studios with niche offerings and budget gyms.

However, the fitness industry is still facing issues in the real estate realm. With women lagging men in returning to facilities, operators worry if the connected fitness space will continue to appeal to key demographic segments of the population. In addition, operators are still recovering from relationships with landlords that were turned upside down during the pandemic. Many gyms are still paying off deferred rent.

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Despite some challenges that have rolled over from the pandemic, health and wellness has never been hotter — and landlords opening their doors to fitness establishments will likely benefit from the consumer fitness craze.

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