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Real Estate - Commercial

Fitness Center Joins Roster At River Place

By Cece Nunn, posted Mar 7, 2017
The owners of Axis Fitness plan to open a studio at River Place, a mixed-use development that will replace the Water Street parking deck in downtown Wilmington. (Rendering courtesy of the city of Wilmington)
A fitness studio that currently operates at Lumina Station will open a downtown location in River Place, the more than $70 million mixed-use project replacing the Water Street parking deck. 

The River Place Axis Fitness studio will be 6,746 square feet on the first level, along Water Street, of the 12-story development.

With the lease by Axis, a restaurant that was announced previously and another pending lease of about 2,000 square feet by a different tenant, the 32,000 square feet of commercial space at River Place is 45 percent leased up even before the old Water Street deck has been demolished, said Patrick Riley, a broker with Cape Fear Commercial, who along with fellow Cape Fear Commercial broker Vin Wells is marketing the River Place commercial portion.

The deck is expected to be torn down, a necessary step for construction of River Place to begin, this spring, and the estimated delivery of the commercial space is spring 2019, Riley said.

Axis Fitness, owned by Mike Barnhart and Britt DeLoreto, currently has a fitness studio at Lumina Station, and helped get Axis Yoga off the ground with Troy and Macy Cole in the former Aqua Fedora spot at Lumina Station about a month ago. Barnhart and DeLoreto have also been planning another Axis Fitness location in about 6,000 square feet at Oak Landing in Porters Neck, with the expectation of possible completion by the end of this year or beginning of 2018.

The River Place studio, which will be open 24 hours, will provide its members with a full range of fitness equipment, group and personal exercise classes, athletic and functional training and nutrition coaching, according to a news release. 

Barnhart said in the release that the River Place studio will be a “modern facility offering equipment and training well beyond the traditional gym model, inspiring a high-energy, results-driven culture that engages, educates and empowers first timers and seasoned athletes alike.” 

He said Tuesday that with all the development activity going on in downtown Wilmington that includes River Place, "We really believe that market's going to be awesome."

Axis Fitness uses a live heart rate streaming technology to inform trainers and clients as they work toward fitness goals, according to the release.

Barnhart said they expect to attract downtown residents, college students such as those who attend Cape Fear Community College and employees at downtown businesses. 

Cape Fear Commercial is marketing the commercial space in River Place and represented both parties in the Axis Fitness lease, with Patrick Riley and Vin Wells representing the landlord, and Bryce Morrison representing Axis Fitness.

“We are excited to represent Axis Fitness in their expansion efforts, most recently into Downtown Wilmington,” Morrison said in the release, adding, “The River Place project will allow Axis to better serve the downtown community while being at the forefront of Wilmington’s newest landmark development.”

The owner of Circa Restaurant Group in February announced plans to open a 5,000-square-foot restaurant on the third floor in River Place.

Wells and Riley are now working on securing tenants for about 1,800 square feet remaining on the third floor adjacent to Bijou Park,a 3,800-square-foot restaurant space on Water Street and 12,900 square feet on the corner at street level that can be subdivided.

Jimmy Hopkins, of Intracoastal Realty, and sales manager for River Place said in the release that buyers of the condos in the project "consider a sophisticated onsite fitness studio as a must-have amenity for the contemporary urban and active lifestyle.” 

Axis Fitness will be among several high-end amenities that River Place is expected to offer residents, including 24-hour security and concierge; a private club room, open only to condominium residents; private meeting rooms; secure parking; and a roof top pool, deck, hot tub and entertainment area overlooking the Cape Fear River, according to the release.

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