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Fitness Guru Recommends Gym Makeovers to Boost Buildings' Value

By Emily Frost | December 5, 2012 6:52am

UPPER WEST SIDE — Forget about having a doorman or an underground parking garage — a fully-loaded luxury gym is now the "it" accessory in Manhattan buildings, according to fitness connoisseur and Upper West Sider Jason Greenspan. 

Where a tired old treadmill and a few free weights once passed muster, Greenspan said urban dwellers now expect a full complement of high-tech equipment and amenities in their building's fitness center.

Building boards are looking for "personalized service and a lot of activities," said Greenspan, whose Practical Fitness & Wellness concierge company takes drab gyms and gives them a makeover, both in equipment and programming. 

His company offers a range of concierge services, including personal training, massage therapy, physical therapy, yoga, pilates, nutritional counseling, dance and swim lessons, and fitness consultations, most of which can also be brought to an individual's apartment.

"Whether it's a hotel or a building, it's a necessity that you have something," said Greenspan, whose clients include Copley Condominium and Club at 69th Street and Broadway, Rosa Parks Condominium at St. Nicholas Avenue and 118th Street and Lincoln Towers on West End Avenue and 67th Street.

"The days of having no activities are over," he said.

Greenspan's company takes over the hassle of running a gym for buildings that want the boost of having the services without the responsibility of overseeing them, he said.

"Boards and property managers want peace. We take the responsibility of managing the gym away from the board," said Greenspan. 

According to Greenspan, the most popular service requests are personal training and massages, which he sees as a reflection on the evolving demands of modern life. 

"Life has changed within the last decade," Greenspan said. "We have a lot more imbalances throughout the body, we're more sedentary." 

To combat these changes, his trainers offer an integrated program that works strength, mobility, cardio, flexibility and core work into one efficient session. Whereas having a personal trainer used to be viewed as a luxury, people now see it as a necessity, said Greenspan. 

Another go-to improvement is to eliminate outdated equipment with ripped upholstery, missing parts, or a dirty appearance, or equipment missing directions for residents on how to use the machinery, according to Greenspan.

His company offers to oversee the purchase of new equipment, as well as redesigning the overall layout and flow of the space. 

"You have to put in the 'meat and potatoes' — ellipticals, treadmills, a stair master, a dumbbell rack," he said.

Among the most popular and multi-purpose equipment Greenspan recommends is a cable machine by the company Free Motion. He said the industry is moving towards cable systems that give people more freedom of motion to work multiple muscle groups at once. Such machines can run from $1,500 to $5,000. 

Other popular items are workout machines that have individualized TVs on machines, which can cost between $10,000 and $50,000 to install and operate, depending on the size of the system. 

"[Services are] a way of increasing the value of the building...if [managing and designing the gym] is done the right way, it really looks good for the building," said Greenspan.