Image of women exercising at a gym

How to lease the right commercial property for your gym

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Gym facilities and the wider Health and Fitness Industry have been growing at a rapid rate over the past five years, and with the emergence of new ways of exercising (think F45 and Barre), people are craving access to their new ‘local’ – the health studio.

No longer is attending the gym only a before and after work activity based in the CBD. People are walking to their pilates class, or riding their bike to the next crossfit session. The demand for health and fitness centres in the suburbs is strong.

According to IBISWorld, the health and fitness industry is set to make $2.1billion dollars for 2016/2017 financial year in Australia. With ongoing membership fees from loyal patrons as a primary source of income, more people are entering the world of business ownership with a gym or fitness franchise. But what is involved in finding the right property to lease for your gym? We’ve outlined the ‘need to knows’ for your property search.

  • Location This is a no-brainer for any business property, however with gyms and health studios there are other considerations such as: franchise area allocation and proximity to other franchisees; like minded businesses within the surrounding area (a pilates studio next to a gym would be good, a McDonalds next door probably not) and proximity to public transport.
  • Council Zoning Always check with your local council before you commence the property search. A number of councils will want you to operate within a certain zone.
  • Car Parking To receive council approval to open a gym, they will usually require a high component of car parking in comparison to other uses for a property. This may restrict what properties will be suitable for your use, or you may need to rent further car spaces to be associated with that property.
  • Operating Hours and Noise Ensure that the property can be accessed outside of traditional work hours and that any adjoining businesses won’t complain about foot traffic or noise from the gym at these times.
  • Type of Property Whilst you might want to be located on a retail strip, the rental rates for a retail premises will be significantly higher than the rates for a Warehouse in an Industrial area.
  • Amenities This includes changing facilities, toilets and showers along with heating and cooling. Will there be air flow within the building and will it get hot in Summer? If the property already has shower facilities and heating and cooling this will be a big cost saving to you.
  • Structure and Design of the Building Consider if the walls and floors are structurally sound to withstand the weight of gym equipment. Is the ceiling high enough or will your clients continually hit the skipping rope on the roof?

Also consider lining up any lease terms with franchise agreements, and the notice period for options to be the same. This will avoid you paying rent on an empty building, or having a franchise agreement and no building.

Want to know more about leasing a commercial property for your gym or health studio? Contact us to discuss how we can assist you.