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New fitness club model in Santa Rosa's West End

Two unconventional Santa Rosa fitness clubs are on the move to an equally unconventional wellness center in 25,000 square feet of a winery-turned-warehouse in the West End neighborhood of Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa Strength & Conditioning, also known as CrossFit Santa Rosa, and LiveFit Boot Camp have become the heavy lifters for West End Wellness Center, a nonprofit community benefit corporation set up by the property owner to fill the building, provide a gathering point for training in fitness, nutrition and other aspects of health, and funnel proceeds to the West End Neighborhood Association.

Santa Rosa Strength & Conditioning leased 6,000 square feet of the former DeTurk Winery building at 808 Donahue St. in mid-January. Started seven years ago, the gym doubled in size when it moved from a 3,000-square-foot warehouse space on Cleveland Avenue several blocks to the north. The club has more than 100 in training and five trainers.

"I've used growth to reinvest in the company," said owner Joanna Sapir, 39, a weightlifter. The business has not needed to take out loans, she said.

In mid-February, LiveFit Boot Camp signed a lease for 7,000 square feet of that building, which is located across the street from the DeTurk Round Barn park. Work on the gym is set to start this month for an opening in a few months.

It's a pilot indoor gym concept for a 6-year-old business that operates a half-dozen outdoor locations in Sonoma and Marin counties, according to Jeffrey Sears, 30, who started the company with fellow Sonoma State University kinesiology graduate Jaron Eliopoulos, 29.

"Some people like the outdoors, and some people like being inside in a controlled environment," Sears said. "Everyone is entitled to his or her needs for fitness."

LiveFit has more than 300 participants. Fifty to 100 try it out in any given month, and about half stick with it, he said.

Ancillary to the gyms in the wellness center will be meeting rooms for dance and yoga classes and for specialists, and more than 7,500 square feet of space for restaurants or brewpubs, according to Richard Deringer, a principal of property owner Railroad Square Village LLC.

A Marin County chiropractor is said to be interested in leasing space there, he said.


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