New gym proposed in Jackson MS in Rainbow Co-op space
It’ll be the first thing people will see when driving into Fondren from I-55 at Lakeland Drive. And it won’t look like anything else in the Jackson borough known for its retro vibe.
The pink building that used to be Rainbow Co-op will transform into a 12,000-square-foot gym called Fondren Fitness.
It’ll be the first standalone, full-service gym in Fondren. There’s the Club at St. Dominic’s inside St. Dominic Hospital. There’s also CrossFit Fondren and a few yoga studios.
But Fondren Fitness will be different.
“There’s nothing like it in Fondren,” said Michael Boerner, principal architect at Wier Boerner Allin Architecture, whose firm is designing the space. “We are dedicated to make this unique and something that Fondren and Jackson would be proud of.”
Boerner, Jamie Wier and Jack Allin of Wier Boerner Allin are co-investors of Fondren Fitness, along with Fondren Public owner Sean Cupit.
Boerner said a special-use permit is in the works so the space can be used as a fitness center. The hope is that the gym will also be open 24 hours.
“The city (of Jackson) has been very easy to work with, and Fondren has been very supportive. We do not expect any opposition,” Boerner said.
Fondren Fitness is slated to open in the spring.
Here’s what’s planned, according to Boerner:
- Adding second-floor platforms at the front of the space.
- The gym will have a “clean and modern” look, aesthetic.
- Aerobic equipment such as exercise bikes and treadmills will be on the second floor, which will overlook Lakeland Drive.
- The front of the space will be lined with windows on both floors, making it easy for commuters and passerbys to see the action inside.
- The owners of the shopping center are ready to repave the parking lot.
- The parking lot will have new striped lines and be cleaned up.
- The investors are proposing LED sight lights in the parking lot to make the area safer at night.
- There will be a space for a tenant on the first floor.
Rainbow Co-Op, which closed in early 2018, may become Fondren Fitness if a zoning change is approved by the city of Jackson. (Photo: File/Clarion Ledger)
The gym will also have free weights, weightlifting machines and cardio equipment on the second floor.
Boerner said Cupit wants to plan fitness events and runs through Fondren that would end with a special happy hour at Fondren Public, Boerner said. Larger suburban cities like New Orleans have seen success with these kinds of events, and they attract young professionals.
“It could be pretty cool,” Boerner said. “We’re trying to create something that will offer options to the students, young professionals, older professionals … anyone.”
Boerner wouldn’t say how much the proposed project would cost, but he did say the investors aren’t cutting any corners.
“We have one chance to make a first impression,” Boerner said. “We aren’t being conservative with money.”
Boerner said there have been concerns voiced about parking, but the revamped parking lot could ease a lot of those concerns.
He said that peak traffic times for gyms are before and after rush hour traffic — from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Boerner also hopes the gym will bring in more foot traffic from residents nearby.
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Wier Boerner Allin Architecture will also share their nearby parking lot for Fondren Fitness members.
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