It seems to me that the BSC South End has been the gym everyone has loved to hate, but in retrospect, despite the issues (and there were many), I will miss this gym. It is a large space with many windows and high ceilings, has a great indoor pool, large free weights and cardio sections, and when it first opened they had many great classes (I still miss Melany’s lunchtime abs classes).
Over the years, I met and made many friends there. Perhaps that is what I will miss the most with the gym’s closing. However, rather than leave BSC altogether like many have opted, I’ve decided to remain and will now work out at the Downtown Crossing location so perhaps I’ll see you there.
Earlier this morning The Boston Sports Club notified members that they have “made the difficult decision to close our South End location permanently. The last day to work out inside this club will be March 31st.”
I first wrote about this possibility in January in my post Is the Boston Sports Club South End closing? What remains to be seen is what happens next? In my January post I speculated one of two likely options. The first would be for another fitness chain to come in and rent the space, but the other option which I think is likely would be for the landlord, GTI Properties to overtake and manage it much like they are doing with two former Aquitaine Group restaurant spaces (Gaslight and Cinquecento).
Stay tuned for more details.
UPDATED March 2, 2022 at 5:00PM: GTI Properties announces they will reopen this space in the fall as a health and wellness facility that will have at least 5 studios and offer a variety of classes. The facility will be eliminating the pool and reusing the space for group fitness classes. More details about rates, membership and opening dates will be forthcoming in the summer.
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about the future of the Boston Sports Club South End. Current and former employees have confirmed that the BSC would like to sign a new lease and the manager has indicated that negotiations with the landlord, GTI Properties are ongoing.
The current lease is set to expire this spring. If the BSC lease expires, it’s not clear if the space would be re-purposed, another chain would takeover, or if GTI would takeover the gym. While managing a gym would be a stretch for GTI, anything is possible. Last year, GTI Properties formed the SoWa Hospitality Group and hired Jeff Gates (former partner of Aquitaine Group) to manage food and beverage operations at the SoWa Powerstation, Brasserie, and Roma 500 (slated to open later this year). I hope the BSC and GTI come to some agreement. The uncertainty is frustrating, because it disincentivizes BSC from making any further investments or to improve the facility.
Regardless of the fate of the BSC South End, if the space remains a fitness center, the gym will need to do more to fend off competition from the many boutique studios that have opened. While these smaller studios are more expensive, their popularity increased during the pandemic.
During the pandemic two gyms opened blocks from the BSC SE, Elite Training Group (operated by former BSC SE trainers) and Epoc Studios. But these are hardly the only boutique studios to open. A quick Google search will show a dozen such gyms within blocks of the BSC SE — several of them owned and opened by former BSC South End trainers who’s clients followed them.