If you’re planning to open a new gym or establish another location for your fitness business, you’re making a wise investment. Americans increasingly seek to maintain or improve their physical and mental well-being by visiting health clubs and gyms. A total of 66.5 million consumers aged 6 or older (representing 21.8 percent of the U.S. population) belonged to a health club or studio in 2021, according to the Global Health & Fitness Association (IHRSA).

On top of that, major fitness businesses also experienced membership growth in 2022, the IHRSA noted. For example, Life Time saw memberships increase 23.8 percent in Q1 2022, while Planet Fitness saw system-wide same store sales increase 15.9 percent during the same period.

There’s clearly demand for gyms and health clubs. However, to successfully serve a populace that’s enthused about exercise, you’ll need to first conduct a commercial real estate search. Identifying property that’s highly visible, accessible, and convenient for gym goers will lay the foundation for your future success.

Based on our commercial real estate experience and guidance from industry experts, we’d like to offer the following tips to streamline your search for commercial space and help you find gym space for rent that aligns with all your needs.

1. Know your target audience and find a space where they live or work.

Whether you want to attract cardio enthusiasts or aspiring body builders, you’ll want to find property in an area that’s convenient for your prospective clients. Usually, it’s ideal to open gyms and health clubs in residential areas or in close proximity to office spaces, according to the Gym Insight blog entry “Best Health Club Locations.” That way, people can easily stop by on the way to or from work.You should research not only rent for available gym space but also local demographic info like age range and average household income, as advised by the NPE article “11 Keys to Choosing the Right Space for Your Fitness Studio and Negotiating a Lease Agreement.”

2. Weigh the pros and cons of retail versus industrial space.

If you’re opening a fitness studio, you’ll typically look at either industrial or retail properties, according to NPE. Each option has its pros and cons. Retail space usually comes with higher rent and less parking; however, you’ll probably also get more foot traffic and higher visibility. On the flip side, industrial property is often more affordable and has more parking but lacks visibility and likely won’t get much foot traffic.

3. Determine the maximum amount of space you’ll need.

Before you start looking at fitness and wellness spaces, you should estimate the amount of space you’ll need for each section of your business (e.g., administrative offices, showers, locker rooms, and the gym floor itself), according to the Gymdesk blog entry, “How to Find the Best Location for your Gym.” Don’t forget to consider ceiling height as well. For example, if you’re seeking practice space for a sport like basketball or indoor soccer, you’ll want plenty of room vertically and horizontally; an industrial property might be the best option for activities that involve lots of running and/or jumping. You don’t want to select real estate only to discover it’s too small once you’ve already committed to a lease.

4. Check out the competition.

Obviously, you don’t want to set up shop directly next to another yoga studio or personal training operation, as Gymdesk points out. Do your homework to see what other health and fitness businesses already exist in the area.

The Avalon Realty Associates team would be happy to help if you’d like to explore gym spaces for rent in Chicago and beyond. Take the first step toward fitness business success today by checking out our property listings or visiting our contact us page. You can also call us at 847-506-1000, or email info@avalonreal.com to connect with our team of experienced real estate brokers.