Owners of the GymX fitness club in Waco are flexing their corporate muscles and relocating from a building they lease to one they own.
Business partners Derek Dalton and Mark Bounds confirm they will remodel the former Linens N Things stucture at 4809 W. Waco Drive inside and outside, fill it with cardiovascular and strength-building equipment and open a new GymX club there by late spring.
They are leaving a 28,875-square-foot building near Richland Mall that has served as home to GymX since December 2006.
“Our lease there is up in May and as the date grew closer, we decided to place the gym in a building we own,” Dalton said.
He said GymX will occupy about 19,000 square feet in the 33,000-square-foot Linens N Things facility, giving it about 2,000 more square feet of operating area than the 17,000 square feet used at the current location.
Dalton and Bounds will market the balance to other potential users, including retailers.
“But we first want to focus on the gym and locate it within the building as we see fit,” Dalton said.
GymX Waco has about 3,300 members and remains open for workouts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The new site will have a “Kid Zone,” where youngsters will have access to a playground, arcade games, air hockey and pool tables.
“We also will have a larger women’s workout room with a locker room attached,” Dalton said.
He said female guests can avoid the main workout area altogether if they prefer.
Dalton said more space will become available for “group fitness” programs, which members have requested.
The building near Richland Mall went vacant in 2006, when Best Buy relocated its electronics store to Central Texas Marketplace.
Dalton and Bounds reportedly spent $1.7 million to remodel the interior of the structure and stock it with workout gear.
Meanwhile, Waco’s Linens N Things store was among 370 nationwide that closed after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008.
Dalton and Bounds bought it as an investment in the spring of 2013, and said they would market it to retail prospects.
Graham Carter, an agent with The Weitzman Group, which markets real estate statewide, said he is pursuing a buyer or lessee for the GymX building. He said the sales price stands at $2.2 million, “and we are going full speed ahead in the pursuit of offers.”
Though Best Buy sold the structure to an investor in California, it had leased back the building and was subleasing it to the owners of GymX.
Best Buy’s control also comes to an end in May, Carter said, making it less complicated to strike a deal with a new tenant or purchaser.
Waco commercial real estate agent Pat Farrar, who is not involved with the GymX site, said he thinks it will generate interest.
He said retailers are looking more closely at the Greater Waco market, mentioning as proof his deal that brought a 99 Cents Only store to Parkdale shopping center.
“I also have leases pending on a 16,000-square-foot and a 25,000-square-foot building,” said Farrar, who declined to disclose their locations.