20 Aug 2014
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CA to Add New Gym at Former Rouse Company Headquarters

Columbia Association announced Monday they would build a gym on the lake level of the iconic downtown building.

CA to Add New Gym at Former Rouse Company Headquarters

UPDATE - 12:20 p.m. - This post has been updated to include cost information.

The Columbia Association announced Monday it would open a new 27,000-square-foot health and fitness club on the lake level of the former Rouse Company headquarters.

Howard Hughes Corp. and CA worked out an 11-year lease for the space, according to CA. CA is expected to spend $2.7 million on construction costs, which will be largely spent from CA's Fiscal Year 2015 capital budget, according to a spokesperson.

"This is a great opportunity to partner with Columbia Association to bring another important amenity to our community," said John DeWolf, senior vice president of development for Howard Hughes, in a statement. "It is also appropriate for an institution such as CA to become part of the adaptive reuse of this iconic building in downtown."

Construction of the club is expected to begin in spring of 2014 and CA anticipates it opening by 2014.

Whole Foods announced this summer it would be building a grocery store in the building. Whole Foods is scheduled to open in 2014 as well.

"When it was announced that Whole Foods would be leasing space in the former Rouse Company headquarters, I predicted it would be a catalyst that would set in motion a series of projects that would dramatically enhance our revitalization efforts," said County Executive Ken Ulman, in a statement.

The former Rouse Company headquarters sits on the Lake Kittamaqundi lakefront. It was built by renowned architect Frank Gehry and opened in 1974.

Currently CA operates three fitness facilities—Supreme Sports Club, Columbia Athletic Club, and The Columbia Gym.

This new gym will cater to new and local residents in Columbia's developing downtown.

“Who better than Columbia Association, which already operates three highly successful fitness facilities in the community, to open a club in this historic building,” said Columbia Association President Phil Nelson, in a statement. “It will become another destination in a revitalized downtown Columbia.”

Current CA members will be able to pay an additional fee to access the downtown club once it opens, according to CA.

"Over the life of the lease, this facility is projected not only to pay for itself, but it also could potentially generate revenue that would go toward CA's many other programs, services and expenses," wrote CA spokesperson David Greisman, in an email.

Recent announcements of the Metropolitan apartment building, Mall in Columbia redevelopment and Symphony Woods development represent the start of a real downtown for Columbia, according to local officials at the announcement of Whole Foods' entry into the community.

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