New health club concept to open in Baton Rouge next week

A long-awaited health club will finally come to fruition in the Drusilla Village Shopping Center next week, when Fit 365 opens on Monday after nearly a year of planning and construction.

Developer Donnie Jarreau and Troy Archer, his partner in other fitness clubs, are modeling the club after national fitness centers like Anytime Fitness and Snap, which are open 24 hours a day. Unlike those chains, however, Fit 365 will also offer group classes and CrossFit sessions.

Jarreau, who founded Spectrum health clubs in Baton Rouge in 1992 and still owns the Monterrey Drive location with Archer, says national trends show the market for health clubs is changing, with more demand for boutique or specialty fitness center that offer flexible training plans and round-the-clock hours.

“Twenty years ago about 10% of the population belonged to health clubs. Today, it’s 20%,” he says. “But in that time, the number of clubs has increased maybe four or five times, and 50% of those clubs are boutique clubs so that is really where you see demand.”

The new club will be located in a 5,500-square-foot space in the shopping center that was previously occupied by American Printing. Jarreau acquired the shopping center in 2014 for $10.5 million and has spent more than $2 million renovating it over the past two years.

Jarreau does not anticipate expanding the Fit 365 concept in the Baton Rouge area. But he believes there are growth opportunities outside the Capital Region, particularly in retail properties his real estate company—which was acquired earlier this year by NAI/Latter & Blum—owns or manages.

“We now manage a million square feet of shopping center space and shopping centers love boutique fitness clubs,” he says. “They’re a very desirable tenant.”

—Stephanie Riegel

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