DALLAS-With opportunity knocking for a rare piece of downtown Dallas space, 24 Hour Fitness USA Inc. has grabbed a turnkey, two-floor fitness center servicing the 1.1-million-sf Bryan Tower. The Carlsbad, CA-based chain has signed a 15-year lease for 40,000 sf.

“24 Hour really wanted a downtown presence for five years,” says Jeff Kittleson, vice president with Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co., who jumpstarted talks for the space in a retail and parking facility at 719 Olive St. as soon as Gold’s Gym International Inc. started packing its bags. Other fitness center operators sized up the opportunity, but “we were just aggressive in getting the space early,” he tells GlobeSt.com about negotiations that pitted him against the TCC leasing team of Jon McNeil, senior vice president, and Russ Johnson, associate.

The Irvine, CA-based Gold’s Gym vacated in May from floors nine and 10 in the annex to the 2001 Bryan St. high-rise, owned by Spire Realty Group of Dallas. Gold’s was two years into a long-term lease when it moved out of Dallas, emptying space that underwent a $3-million renovation in its replacement of the Exchange Club, a one-time health club haven reserved for executives. “24 Hour Fitness is able to take advantage of most of the renovation that took place,” Kittleson says, adding upgrades will include all new equipment and just a few cosmetic changes.

24 Hour Fitness is the largest privately owned chain in the metroplex with 26 locations and four club-level categories. The CBD club will be ranked in the super-sport class with high-end perks like personal trainers, juice bar and exercise groups. The chain intends to sell corporate membership programs to companies for their 100,000 downtown employees, according to Kittleson.

The new operator will compete against the YMCA and Texas Club in the downtown market. But, Kittleson adds, there is sufficient distance among the trio that all should prosper. As for 24 Hour Fitness, it will be the only fitness center in the Arts District. The class B Bryan Tower has 306,222 sf empty so backfilling the center will create a sweet perk to dangle for new tenants. The building’s office space is quoted at $12 per sf to $16 per sf plus electric.

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