What to Consider When Designing Multifamily Housing Fitness Centers
In this wildly competitive real estate market, it’s more important than ever to offer premium amenities in your multifamily building that attract and keep tenants.
Thoughtfully planned recreation amenities - such as fitness centers - in apartments, condos, and mixed-use facilities provide value and convenience to residents and a high ROI for investors.
One of the most important amenities in your building is the fitness center.
Project managers, architects, consultants, developers, property managers, and facility managers should all view the fitness space as an excellent value-enhancing opportunity for the property. There are many factors to consider as you plan your new construction or updating existing gym space.
"All over the country, multifamily housing is on the rise! Whether it be young millennials or a 55+ Community, every generation is now looking for convenience when choosing their residence. Much like an all-inclusive vacation, the idea of the all-inclusive residential setting is here and trending upward. We are seeing more and more developers increasing the quality and selection of their amenities, from daycare, clubs, spas, pools, restaurants, and the most popular gyms. Gyms are carrying the highest ROI for developers, in some cases collecting over 40% higher rents when they have a well-designed fitness center,” shares Wayne Fizzuoglio, Gym Source Fitness Equipment, Design and Operations consultant.
So, what are the most important things to consider when planning for a fitness amenity in your multifamily housing project?
"The days of throwing some gym equipment in a dark basement are over. To remain competitive in this market, the developer will need to have a state of the art gym facility with proper design and layout, which will be crucial to workout flow, safety, and satisfied residents,” explains Fizzuoglio.
First, it’s important to understand some of the key features that residents are looking for including:
- Top of the line equipment with brand names residents recognize
- A dedicated space for industry trends like Yoga, Cycling, HIIT, and Functional Training
- Thoughtful lighting design
Your project strategy should start long before selecting specific fitness equipment.
In order to optimize your fitness space (and maximize your investment) here are a few things to consider when planning your project:
- Who will be using the gym space?
- What are your space limitations?
- What are your electrical considerations for both equipment and technology?
- What fitness equipment should you choose to create the best product mix?
- What are delivery and installation requirements?
- How do you educate tenants about the equipment?
- How do you handle preventative maintenance?
- What are your warranty and service options?
Our Gym Source experts will guide you through every step of the process so you can create the best gym in your multifamily building.
To start, here are the top tips to consider to avoid some of the common mistakes project managers make on gym installs:
Design for Your Demographic
It is important you consider WHO will be using the fitness space. Your focus should be on building a gym that supports the goals of the people using it - not on trends or what is deemed the “best” equipment.
The right workout space for the clubhouse in a 55+ community will be very different from the right workout space in housing targeting millennials.
Marty Weinbaum, Fitness Facility Design and Consulting at Gym Source elaborates:
“If you are a school for example, you have a younger demographic that may be more interested in the technological side of the equipment. Such as iPad compatibility, televisions, entertainment. In contrast, the senior sector would value equipment that is accessible equipment, easier to use, and easier to understand.”
For example, it is common for older adults to potentially have joint or back issues that would require more low-impact workout options with areas for stretching.
However, designing for a population with less physical limitations means you could incorporate more equipment that provides higher intensity workouts. Such as, designing for functional training movements with body weights and free weights, instead of larger cardio pieces.
Gym Source acts as your personal consultant in this area. We know the right questions to ask to ensure you strategically approach your project to design your fitness facility to properly match how your residents want to use it.
Choose Your Location Wisely
You want to choose a location in the building that won’t negatively impact or impede people living nearby - or you want to make the necessary accommodations to mitigate any potential concerns.
Also, you should choose a desirable location that inspires and encourages residents to stick to their fitness goals. You do not want to stick the gym somewhere that is not easily accessible or top of mind, as it will be underutilized and not viewed as value-added amenity.
For example, if your gym will be located where residents will live above or below, it would be important to consider adding noise-dampening elements to protect residents from the noise of the cardio machines and/or media in the gym.
Additionally, flooring would be an important consideration when protecting against both the physical act of weights hitting the floor - as well as the sound.
Because a multifamily fitness facility is a shared space in your building, it’s important that you take into consideration the increased traffic, increased noise, and the convenience level for all of your tenants.
"Consulting with an expert is your best approach when choosing the location, because there are a lot of elements impacting whether you can successfully occupy the space,” shares Thomas Jackowski Commercial Consultant with Gym Source.
Our equipment experts share share everything you need to know to properly repurpose an existing space to build a gym. Learn to consider when repurposing a space for your fitness amenity.
Noise Suppression Strategy
Minimization of sound or vibration must be built as a system.
“Often we use the comparison of an onion. You must have a MULTI-LAYER approach to reduce noise. It’s important to consider many factors including, flooring system, how you will minimize transfer of energy through surfaces (example; walls, cracks, floors, beams through the ceiling, and columns that the sound can travel through), layout strategy impacting where people are living and working (example; treadmills placed near a shared wall and how you will handle noise that will transfer between the walls),” explains Jackowski.
Optimize Your Available Space
“Whether you have 500 or 5000 sq ft, we can assist in putting together a fitness space that will be functional and affordable,” shares Weinbaum.
Gyms come in all shapes and sizes, and with strategic project management you can design the optimal fitness facility for your building.
By taking into account a few key considerations any gym (small to large) can provide the necessary tools for its users’ preferred workouts.
Pairing your knowledge of your users’ goals, with available sq. ft., means you can proactively plan the best use of your available space.
For example, if you know a majority of your residents would be interested in group training classes, you would consider incorporating storage solutions and additional free weights into your initial design.
Ensure that you maximize your available space by working with Gym Source equipment experts. We act as your strategic consultant and together we plan the most user-friendly layout.
We start our consultation by understanding a few key questions, including; what are the different ways your space will be used by different groups, how does the space need to function for different users, what is the best arrangement for your equipment, and how much space is needed for the different use intents and equipment?
For example, it is essential that you consider where each of the products you select will be located in relation to each other.
If you put a machine that requires a wider range of motion (like a cable machine) in close proximity to a large cardio machine, it could negatively impact both users’ workout experience if both are being used at the same time. It’s important you plan ahead to allow for all equipment to be used to its fullest capacity, without interrupting the flow of traffic in your fitness space.
Additionally, it’s important to plan ahead for changes in both fitness trends and your building’s demographic. Your fitness facility will be around for a long time - so it’s important you plan for the future and give yourself options to update and make changes as needed.
Plan for the required electrical components
Electrical components a critical factor in designing the best fitness space.
Marty Weinbaum elaborates:
“One of the things that people tend to forget about when putting together fitness facilities is the specialized power that may be required for the cardio equipment. At Gym Source, we consult with your electricians to make sure they are supplying the right power for your facility.”
It is well known that most cardio machines require electricity to run, however, what is not as well known is the correct location for your outlets and the necessary capacity for your power supply.
You want to ensure you have the right electricity, in the right locations, to power all your equipment. You have to consider the infrastructure of your technology.
For example, you need to consider peak usage hours in your gym and how that affects your power supply.
If you don’t plan ahead to accommodate heavy usage, and all of your cardio is grouped in one area and being used at the same time, you could routinely experience tripped breakers.
Also, as manufacturers continue to evolve their product offerings to incorporate newer, advanced technological features - it is imperative that you plan ahead for how you will support these features. Fitness equipment that offers bluetooth and wifi connectivity, interactive features such as videos, or the ability to charge personal devices will require additional considerations to properly support.
Another factor to consider is, what media options will you be offering in your facility?
For example, will you outfit your gym with wall TVs? If so, you need to strategically plan for both the power supply to these devices - as well as its location to equipment requiring its own electrical supply.
Often, project managers make the mistake of underestimating the high-level of consideration that should go into the power supply for their gym.
Avoid any logistical errors by consulting with a Gym Source expert. We have seen it all. Which means, we have crafted unique solutions for a wide variety of electrical concerns.
Pick Your Best Product Mix
NOW, it’s time to pick your fitness equipment.
To select the right equipment for your building, it’s imperative that you cater to your residents’ wants and needs. Then, you can craft the right mix of strength equipment, functional trainers, cardio equipment, free weights, and fitness accessories.
Ultimately, you want to create a gym experience that encourages your users to forgo a traditional gym membership.
Partnering with Gym Source gives you an edge when choosing fitness equipment.
Because we are the largest distributor, we can pick and choose the best products for your site and your facilities’ application. We want to act as your fitness consultants and explore the best options for you. Our line-up of equipment is curated from industry leading products - which means, whatever you choose will be a winner.
Tom Kyme, owner of Skyline Amenity Group, known for creating the finest amenity and fitness spaces, shares what to consider when exploring trends in amenity designs and fitness offerings to maximize value AND provide users with enjoyable spaces.
“When finalizing the finished look of the space “finishes” it’s important to choose these materials carefully. This is an area that can drive the budget over the expected investment. In addition certain products while look appealing in design don’t always translate well to the functionality of the space. It’s important to select easy to maintain products for walls and flooring. Lighting, mirror placement, and wall coverings can dramatically influence pricing. Our team of fitness construction specialist will help work with both boards and developers to select high quality products strategically designed for fitness spaces.”
Delivery and Installation
How will your equipment and accessories be delivered? Who will install it?
Safe and proper delivery and installation should be a top priority. It’s imperative you utilize an experienced, manufacturer trained expert who will ensure everything is in perfect working order.
“In fact, our factory trained crews will install your machines properly. We may even tweak the placement of machines during install to ensure proper spacing for usage,” shares Weinbaum.
How to Protect Your Investment
There are many moving parts and wearing parts on your equipment that need to be maintained or replaced. It’s important you take a proactive approach to protect your product and investment.
Purchasing quality fitness equipment for your multifamily gym is an investment, and it is a waste of your time and money to buy fitness equipment you don’t protect.
You need a maintenance program built around your individual needs. Your gym might need weekly maintenance, or quarterly might be enough.
Consider scheduling preventative maintenance based on traffic patterns rather than getting locked into monthly agreements.
Additionally, a community gym will have a higher wear and tear on equipment than a traditional home gym. So, it is important that you consider the uptime of your equipment to keep your gym running optimally, and provide a positive experience for your users.
Warranty, is a nice sounding catchphrase, but its value is limited to the company behind it. As the nation’s largest specialty distributor of fitness equipment, we are able to offer (and back) the best warranties in the business. We are your one stop shop.
You have a relationship with the right person to contact to get your needs addressed. Because we are dedicated to building long-term relationships with you, we want to get the solution correct the first time. We have an obligation to you to perform work to your satisfaction. There is no financial gain in cutting corners that require additional visits.
Working with Gym Source will alleviate the additional responsibilities associated with maintaining your equipment. We want you to have confidence that your final gym is self-sufficient. We want to protect your investment.
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