Posted on November 08, 2019 by Gordon Smith
We’re not going to comment on the political climate of today, let alone use the B word, but there is no doubt that the UK property market is, and has been, going through a period of significant change.
Home ownership, especially amongst young adults, has dropped to 27%, compared to 65% two decades ago and is showing no sign of changing.
As a result, what we are now seeing is the rapid growth of Build-to-Rent (BTR) developments, whereby apartments or houses are built to a high-spec and provide all the latest premium facilities and services to attract long-term tenants.
With investment totalling £2.4bn in 2017 alone and set to grow 180% over the next six years, this is a fast-growing market.
It also means it’s a competitive market, which is where value-adds, such as gyms can make all the difference. Our latest project has been for M&G on their latest development, The Forge, where they see the gym space as a big selling point.
The Forge is located in the East End of London, close to Upton Park and East Ham tube stations, and also close to high-end shopping hub, Westfield Stratford.
The development is made-up of 192 BTR 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments, as well as 4 bed town houses.
It’s a development that is surrounded by green spaces and communal courtyards, which have been designed to get residents into a more social mindset.
The Forge is really strong on value-add offerings, such as being a pet-friendly development, and it also has a wide range of amenities, which includes a co-working space, a resident’s lounge, BBQ terrace and, of course, the gym.
As a free-to-use amenity, the gym was to be located on the ground floor, but this was a space without natural light. The developers also wanted the look and feel to be in-line with its target demographic, namely young professionals, so it needed to be a design that engaged and resonated with them.
The other challenge was to build a space that ensured all residents could easily access equipment, even at peak times. As The Forge is a large development, it was crucial the gym could withstand high traffic and footfall.
We worked with BDW Interiors to create an industrial look and feel, which was created through exposed brickwork, exposed pipes and air conditioning vents, all painted in muted greys and blacks.
The exposed brickwork broke up the darker tones by being painted white, which also helped compensate for the lack of daylight and create an uplifting space.
Within the space, we provided flooring and mirrors, as well as all the equipment, which is a mix of cardio and functional fitness apparatus, including rowing machines, treadmills and ellipticals. Enough to manage peak time usage and choice.
We also installed weights and multi-use towers in order to offer as many workout options as possible. This is a particularly important point in such a large-scale development.
motive8 ongoing support
Our work with The Forge development didn’t end at installation. As we are a full-service company and support clients from initial design right through to ongoing maintenance, M&G wanted us to carry out a range of additional activity.
As part of this, we are responsible for making sure residents have a proper gym induction, and we’re also tasked with ensuring the space is well-maintained and all equipment is fully-functioning and works well.
For most BTR sites, a gym is now seen as a must-have, not just from the building companies, but also residents.
If you’re a developer looking to create a gym space within your development, then please get in touch on 020 8481 9700 and find out how our expertise can help you get the best out of your gym space.