New York’s CrossFit scene is booming, and it’s about to get even bigger—and more luxurious. Brick New York, set to open in Chelsea this July, is shaking up the no-frills CrossFit box model with 13,000 square feet of space, yoga classes on the schedule, and amenities like full-service showers and a sauna. Bare-bones power lifting this is not.
The brand opened its first location in West Hollywood in July of 2011 and has had immense success, both in terms of profit and on the competition circuit. (After the New York roll out, the team will be doubling the size of their West Coast space.) But its flashier New York space will act as a flagship. “We wanted the East Coast location to mimic or mirror that excitement we have in LA,” says Will Lanier, the top coach and general manager (who previously worked at CrossFit NYC).
The gym, located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues on 17th Street, in the heart of the not-yet-named fitness district (hey, how’s “Fitness District”?), will fill the sprawling two-floor space of an old D’Agostino’s, with lots of natural light from 100 feet of storefront windows. The ground floor will have 15-foot ceilings and two workout studios separated by a glass garage door. (So you can marvel at other people’s feats of strength.)
Downstairs, a third workout room will share space with locker rooms, both with saunas, three product-stocked showers, towels, hair dryers, and other fancy perks not often found in CrossFitland. Other features: A lounge with television and Wii, a smoothie bar, and a WiFi-equipped laptop bar. You may leave just to do laundry.
Another big point of distinction for Brick is the class schedule that includes a lot more than WODs (or Workout of the Day, which is the only class option at boxes). These include cross-training options like yoga, cardio kickboxing, and a signature cardio-lifting class called Triple-X. “Brick is a place people can come every day and not feel burnt out,” says Lanier. “You can come do CrossFit three days a week, then do yoga on one day, or work on your Olympic lifting another. Or maybe just come in and use the sauna.”
The luxe CrossFit angle might seem counter-intuitive in a culture dedicated to back-to-basic strength-training workouts. But isn’t lost on New Yorkers, it seems. As of last week, Brick had already sold close to 150 of its unlimited annual memberships (at a pre-registration rate of $225 per month or $2,400 prepaid for the year). It will also offer a la carte classes when it opens, at $32 a class.
As Lanier explains it, “It’s hard for a New Yorker to find a place that they feel like they have a home,” he says. “We’re making you feel like you’re a part of something bigger. We really want you to meet your best friend. We want the best part of your day to be the hour that you come in.” —Lisa Elaine Held