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Fitness franchise Orangetheory is taking over Brooklyn and Queens


orangetheoryCome summer, the sidewalks of Brooklyn can feel like 100 degrees, as any runner can attest. But this year, Brooklynites are going to get a whole lot sweatier (without even hitting the actual pavement).

Orangetheory, the interval-training studio franchise also known for using heart-rate monitors during the workout, will open three locations in Brooklyn by summer, with many more to follow there and in Queens.

“We see enormous opportunity in Brooklyn and Queens,” says Lars Scofield, the owner of the franchise rights to the two boroughs. “Now’s the time to kill it in New York. It’s going to be a New York flavor and feel.”

With 340 open locations across the country and a high-intensity rate of expansion (approaching 365 in 2016), Florida-founded Orangetheory has quickly become the Pure Barre of boot camps over the past few years. The first New York City studio opened a year ago in Chelsea, and the owners of that franchise cite plans to open 50 to 70 locations across Manhattan, New Jersey, Westchester, and Connecticut.

But the afterburn-focused rowing-running-strength training combo hasn’t arrived in an outer borough until now.

Scofield says that for Brooklyn and Queens, he’s starting with the neighborhoods closest to Manhattan. The first studio will be on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, with a grand opening planned for early March (and a soft opening a few weeks earlier). A Williamsburg studio will open on Kent Avenue in the spring, followed by a Park Slope location on Flatbush in the summer.

Orangetheory Brooklyn

“We’re looking at sites in Queens and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn actively,” he says. “I expect we’ll at least have one additional announcement to make in 2016, hopefully more.”

And while all Orangetheory locations share a similar set-up and look, Scofield says his team will be preserving a neighborhood feel in each studio, by keeping original architectural elements, hiring local instructors, and more. “We think it’s critical to retain a distinct Brooklyn identity, character, and feel,” he says, pointing out that the Brooklyn Heights studio is in a landmarked building with high, arched windows (pictured, above).

In fact, his team will be outside the building this weekend encouraging locals to try hopping on a rower on the sidewalk (do snow boots fit in the straps?) for a “Row for a Cure” event for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, which he says will also start to introduce the neighborhood to the workout.

“You go at your own pace, which means it’s accessible to anyone at any level of fitness,” he says, excited by how many outer borough residents may soon be seeing orange. “The addressable market for Orangetheory is basically everybody.” —Lisa Elaine Held

Is the workout coming to your neighborhood? Read about what to expect in a class, here.

(Photos: Orangetheory, Lars Scofield)