After 25 years of helping residents and workers stay on the move in downtown Santa Rosa, now Powerhouse Gym and Studio Fit 515 are moving out — for good.
With new building owners said to be planning to occupy the building and the search for a replacement location challenging, an 11th-hour deal was worked out with a local fitness-club franchisee to take on the over 1,100 members.
Saturday was the last day of business at the 3-story, 25,000-square-foot Powerhouse Gym at 515 Fifth St., and crews were busy Monday cleaning the space and removing equipment.
“We’re an institution down here,” said owner and personal trainer Catt Tripoli. The gym originally was called Fifth Street Fitness when it opened May 19, 1992. At one time it was affiliated with Dallas-based Gold’s Gym.
Tripoli said in a letter to members of the club that the building had been sold to Petaluma-based furniture retailer Scandinavian Designs, which purportedly plans to occupy the building.
Actually, the sale is set to close in two or three weeks, according to Jeff Negri, a Cushman & Wakefield agent who has been listing the property for the past year. The deal, with a buyer he declined to disclose, has been in contract for several months to give time for the gym to find a new home and for the scope of renovations needed to bring the old building up to current standards and to refit the space for a store, he said.
A new owner of a commercial property usually assumes leases with existing, but the gym’s lease term was already up, Negri said.
Nick Egide, a Meridian Commercial commercial real estate agent who is representing the Eide family what owns Scandinavian Designs, said an affiliate of the retailer is the one in escrow to purchase the building. He said the family’s plans for 515 Fifth and the existing Scandinavian Designs store at 3480 Industrial Drive haven't been determined.
Five weeks ago, a trainer at the gym contacted local fitness clubs operator Brett Livingstone about a place for clients to train. Livingstone owns a franchise for Anytime Fitness locations in Larkfield of north Santa Rosa, The Epicenter entertainment complex recently opened at 3215 Coffey Lane in west Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, and Berkeley. In late July, Livingstone and Tripoli met and worked out a membership merger, helped by their operations’ using the same billing company.
His clubs would take on the memberships at no change in fees for those that were paid in full or on monthly plans, and the new members would eventually get access to the Anytime Fitness network of 3,500 clubs globally and 2,500 in the U.S. Some Powerhouse Gym and Studio Fit 515 staff have come over for the member onboarding process, which is happening for the next two weeks at Livingstone’s clubs.
San Francisco-based Bay Properties, which purchased 515 Fifth in 1990 and brought in Tripoli’s gym, and Scandinavian Designs couldn’t be reached for further comment. The retailer has more than 30 self-titled and Dania Furniture locations on the West Coast and in Colorado, Minnesota and Illinois.
The area around the store in northwest Santa Rosa has seen several furniture stores and industrial buildings be purchased at high prices for the fledgling legal cannabis industry. One such building is the former Cokos Diko store across from Scandinavian Designs.