Some gyms at NYC apartment buildings are stepping up Covid safety precautions

Some gyms at NYC apartment buildings are stepping up Covid safety precautions

Austin Havens-Bowen
By Austin Havens-Bowen  |
March 8, 2021 - 2:30PM

At The Dime in Williamsburg, the amenity floor where the gym is located has Merv-13 filters in the HVAC system that are replaced monthly.

The Dime 

In the early days of the pandemic last year, it was hard to imagine New Yorkers going back to the gym—and whether they would be drawn to apartment buildings that offer private gyms as an amenity.

But much has changed since then. Gyms are open again and New York City apartment buildings with private exercise spaces are taking extra steps to keep gym goers safe from Covid, which can make these amenity spaces attractive to new renters and buyers. Taking more precautions here is especially important, since carelessness at gyms have been linked to outbreaks, according to the CDC, The New York Times reported.

To help curb the spread of Covid and keep fitness amenity spaces open, some buildings have installed high-tech air filtration systems, disease-killing UV lighting, and snazzy MIRROR home fitness gyms. They’re also implementing more low-tech strategies, like sign-up sheets for timed workouts, socially-distanced fitness classes, and one-on-one personal training sessions.

Here’s a look at some of the approaches residential buildings are taking with their gyms.

At The Dime in Williamsburg, the amenity floor where the gym is located has Merv-13 filters in the HVAC system that are replaced monthly, plus UV lights, which fight microorganisms and pathogens. The area is cleaned with electro-magnetic disinfectant cleaner, according to a spokesperson. 

Residents can also sign up for fitness classes taught by two certified personal trainers who live in the development. All participants must take the usual precautions: social distance, wear a face mask, and complete contact tracing forms.

Waterline Square, on the Upper West Side, also has Merv-13 and Merv-14 multi-filter systems, including in their fitness amenity spaces. They also have a state-of-the-art water filtration system. “These technologies were part of the developer's quality standards before the Covid-19 pandemic,” a GID representative says.

In Hell’s Kitchen, at Sky, gym goers are required to get their temperature checked before entering their 70,000-square-foot gym. On their basketball courts, there's a “one basketball, one player rule,” says a spokesperson. They also offer one-on-one, social-distanced personal training.

Some luxury buildings are turning to the trendy MIRROR, a smart mirror that functions as a home gym and sells for $1,500. For example, they are in the three-bedroom triplexes at Townhouse on the Park in Long Island City. At 212 West 93rd Street, a new condo development, there are MIRRORs in the fitness center as an alternative to fitness classes.

Some buildings are using apps for gym goers to sign up for timed workout slots. The Smile, a Harlem rental building, uses the app URBN Playground for gym reservations and Covid questionnaires. Other buildings like Sky also use an app for residents to make reservations and see when the space is busiest.

At 50 West, a luxury building in Fidi, residents must also make a reservation, take their temperature, wear a face mask to use designated rooms for workouts, including a cardio room, weight training room, spin room, private training rooms, and a children’s workout room. The firm is working with Gather Amenities, a building management firm that offers building reopening services.

And at The Broad Exchange also in Fidi, the gym has a five-person capacity limit, workout equipment is socially distanced, and everyone must sign a log-in sheet for contact tracing. 


Austin Havens-Bowen

Austin Havens-Bowen


Austin Havens-Bowen is a writer and reporter. He previously covered local news for the Queens Ledger and The Hunts Point Express in the Bronx. He graduated from Hunter College with a BA in media studies. He rents a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria with his boyfriend and their two cats.

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