A case study by Crystal Capone
- Echelon Connect EX7 virtual spin bikes
- Echelon Row-7s rowing machines
- Echelon Reflect fitness mirror
- Stairmaster 8 Series Gauntlet
- Nautilus Smith machine
At the Botanic at Ingleside in North Charleston, SC, everything is fresh — especially the fresh fruit in the clubhouse and the fitness center. The myriad deciduous and tropical plants that pepper the property. Even the cold towels that are readily available in the fitness center. But it wasn’t always that way.
When Bell Partners took over Botanic at Ingleside in late 2021, the fitness center wasn’t up to their standards, or ours. Simply put, the residential-grade equipment purchased by the previous developer wasn’t ready to take a beating.
The good news is that Botanic’s team noticed that, too. The previous equipment broke down frequently and wasn’t sturdy enough for the day-in-day-out grind that multifamily fitness centers are used to.
That’s why I got a message from Dana Jiles, Botanic’s regional manager. Her group noticed that while there was a lot going for the space, they knew it could use some improvements.
“Whether it’s new or an aging property,” Dana said, “you can always use a fresh set of eyes to determine whether what you have is sufficient.”
Dana and I have known each other awhile, so it was nice to hear she trusted us at Heartline to help determine her team’s best outcome.
A Fresher Fitness Refresh
Botanic’s team really did the legwork in figuring out what their community actually wanted. During the initial project phases, they started polling interested residents while they were between workout sets and had time to give their feedback.
“For the most part, people wanted treadmills, ellipticals, some free weights … a little bit of everything,” Dana said, adding, “but not as much of the high-intensity equipment.”
We also wanted this to be a relatively simple space — no need for weight racks here. It needed to feel like a place where anyone, no matter their level of fitness, could open the door and immediately feel welcome. It made sense to put the least intimidating equipment front and center, like cable machines and treadmills.
The space comprises two floors, which is always a fun thing to see when you’re used to designing as many single floor plans as I have.
But a double-decker gym poses other obstacles, like soundproofing the bumps and thuds of a treadmill jogger or burpees during an interval workout. So we put our quieter machines topside, like rowers and bikes, while adding a stretching alcove with an Echelon Reflect mirror.
What the Client Thinks of the Result
“I love working with Crystal and Heartline Fitness. She’s incredibly communicative and they were great at keeping us informed about what was going on. They were great at working with what we had.”Dana Jiles
Charleston and Myrtle Beach Regional Manager, Bell Partners
You don’t have to be married to your previous developer’s poor decisions. When you’re looking to upgrade your property, it’s a great first step to reinvest in your fitness center if the equipment isn’t meant for the rigorous use that apartment complexes are used to. The Botanic at Ingleside team learned that it pays off in the long run to invest in proper commercial-grade equipment.
Give me a shout if you’re looking to update your space!