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95% of Washington, DC fitness tenants have opened since 2010 with millennials driving growth

The demand for optionality of fitness concepts supports why the District was ranked as one of the top three fittest cities in the nation.

March 05, 2019
  • Yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, Spin, Kickboxing, Barre, Boxing - you can find them all in DC. The demand for optionality of fitness concepts supports why the District was ranked as one of the top three fittest cities in the nation and why fitness-focused retail is flourishing here. JLL estimates that in 2010, there were less than 30 fitness options in DC; today, there are approximately 122 such options, with fitness retail growth far outpacing the city’s 9% population growth over that same timeframe.
  • Local fitness offerings are increasingly dominated by the expansion of specialty studios. Of all fitness centers in the District, 77% are specialty studios, while only 23% are traditional full-service gyms. 20% of the existing gyms opened prior to 2010, while a mere 1% of existing specialty studios were open at the time.
  • The majority of DC’s fitness tenants are located in the center of the District where the residential and office populations converge and ironically, where the vast majority of these office and multifamily assets have their own fitness offerings, ranging from basic to elevated. That said, fitness operators have purposely opened in the densest millennial population zones. As DC’s millennial population growth travels east of 16th Street, specialty studios are moving in that direction in order to meet the generation’s demand for health and wellness. The two DC submarkets with the highest millennial populations—Dupont-Logan-Shaw and East End—are home to the highest number of specialty studios, 40 and 19, respectively.
  • Looking forward, studios will continue to open at a faster pace than gyms due to their smaller footprint and cult followings. Studios, in particular, will follow millennial population movement and continue opening locations where millennials live and work. JLL projects that H Street, NoMa, Eckington, Union Market, Bloomingdale and Ballpark will drive the most fitness studio growth ahead based on projected millennial population growth estimates that outpace the overall region and city.

Source: JLL Research

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