The Market

In-house gyms lose their cool, which is why you need one

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
May 31, 2011 - 2:42PM

When it comes to co-op and condo buildings of a certain size, on-premises gyms confer no wine cellar/screening room/private dining club bragging rights. But the absence of a gym--well, that's not just embarrassing. It could knock $15,000 off your apartment's resale value, according to an article in the May issue of The Cooperator.

The story pins the blame on the usual suspect: Amenity-laden newer condos that have raised the bar on basic services.

"More than five years ago a gym was a plus," the Cooperator article (not yet online) quotes one managing agent. "Now, if you don't have a gym, you're not competing. It's expected."

If you're ready to turn in your Equinox membership, The Cooperator offers some helpful information for retrofitting your building with a gym, including:

  • Most buildings pay the $40,000-and-up cost out of the reserve fund, and then charge residents who join a yearly membership fee in the $125-$250 range--about as much as outside gyms cost per month.  At that rate,  the reserve fund can frequently be paid back within a couple of years.
  • Standard equipment for a 500-600 square foot gym: two treadmills, two elliptical machines, a recumbent and an upright bike, a multi-section weight-training apparatus as well as free weights and two benches.  (Price for all, including installation: about $30,000 plus tax.)
  • The optimal year-round temperature for a gym is 68 degrees, which can mean a big investment in HVAC equipment.
  • Since most gyms are installed in spaces without natural light, light is the biggest design challenge.  
  • Soundproof rubber flooring is also advisable, which costs around $5,000 for a 600 square foot gym.
  • Palm or fingerprint scanners (about $1,000) are preferred over keycards, which can easily be passed to non-member residents.
  • Showers are locker rooms are considered non-essential, for obvious reasons...


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Dear Ms. Demeanor: My neighbor is stinking up the gym

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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