Fitness centers were once viewed as a necessary amenity for office facilities, which is why some New York City buildings have incorporated gyms to give employees a place to workout.
However, it’s still too early to see if this trend will take off, especially as Cushman & Wakefield spokesman Michael Boonshoft notes that office landlords are actually closing gyms.
This is largely due to fitness facilities being on the lower end of the list of in-demand amenities.
Still, employers recognize the importance of physical health in their employees and that it can have a direct impact on an employees’ work.
Prior to the pandemic, health clubs were on the uprise, with the state of New York having 2,263 clubs prior to COVID.
But revenue at these spaces has declined by 58% and 17% have been forced to permanently close according to a IHRSA report.
“Even before this pandemic, we’ve always been laser-focused on the importance of fitness and wellness in a 24/7 office environment,” said Philippe Visser, president of Related Office Development, which oversees New York City’s Hudson Yards development. “We see it as a critical component to attracting top talent. We didn’t have a pandemic in mind when we planned all this originally, but all of those aspects help to future-proof Hudson Yards.”
Still, Hudson Yards and similar properties have struggled with low occupancy and are looking for ways to revitalize their business once restrictions are lifted.
That’s why some experts anticipate that health clubs, like the Equinox at Hudson Yards, will build in a community and social element to their services.