CA approves wellness concept for downtown fitness club

The Columbia Association Board of Directors approved Thursday the mind-body wellness concept for its downtown fitness club, which is scheduled to open in the Rouse Company building next September. 

The concept, which consultants presented to the board in May, will offer customers a place to "relax, retreat and rejuvenate," and was selected based on the results of a 687-person survey.

While the concept was generally well received at the May 30 meeting, the board took no official vote, prompting Thursday's official tally.

The vote to approve the concept passed 6 to 3, with board members Russ Swatek, Gregg Schwind and Alex Hekimian voting against. Board members Michael Cornell, Andy Stack, Nancy McCord, Brian Dunn, Cynthia Coyle and Suzanne Waller voted in favor of the concept (board member Tom O'Connor was absent).

CA announced in December plans to lease space from the building owner Howard Hughes Corp. for a fitness facility in the basement of the iconic Frank Gehry-designed building. The news came months after Howard Hughes announced plans to build a Whole Foods on the building's main level, which is also scheduled to open in September 2014.

The 27,000 sq. ft. fitness club will overlook the lakefront and house three exercise studios inspired by European and Asian mind-body routines – like Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Barre – a wellness spa featuring integrated medicine, a three-lane 60 foot lap pool, and an exercise pool and hot tub overlooking Lake Kittamaqundi.

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