NGKF helps Blink Fitness bulk up in Manhattan expansion

NGKF helps Blink Fitness bulk up in Manhattan expansion
By Adam Pincus | December 03, 2013 02:34PM

Just in time for the holiday season’s overindulgence, the discount gym chain Blink Fitness tapped a retail leasing team at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to find Manhattan locations for the expanding brand.

Blink, a division of the gym Equinox (itself a subsidiary of Stephen Ross’ Related Companies) is seeking to open between five and 10 locations — or more — over each of the next two years, Jeffrey Roseman, executive vice president at NGKF Retail, told The Real Deal.

The pair signed the exclusive representation agreement in the middle of last month, a spokesperson for NGKF said. Roseman, Marc Frankel, a senior managing director, and Benjamin Birnbaum, a managing director, are handling the agency.

The move comes as national chain store expansions slowed in the city over the past year, a report released today from the Center of an Urban Future said.

Yet at the same time, exercise buffs in thrall with specialty workouts like yoga or spin classes are looking for lower-priced options for basic services, such as weightlifting and treadmills, that Blink and competitors like Planet Fitness offer. Midtown South-based Blink charges a basic rate of $20 to $25 per month, according to its website, compared with $150 per month or more, for example at the Equinox near Union Square.

Blink was formerly represented by the Connecticut office of Charter Realty & Development, which represented Blink in a deal for gym space announced in October at commercial landlord Savanna’s 31 Penn Plaza. Charter did not respond to a request for comment.

Blink currently has 18 operating locations in New York City, Long Island, Westchester County and New Jersey, a spokesperson for NGKF said. The chain currently has three Manhattan locations in operation, in Harlem, Noho and Murray Hill, with additional sites in Chelsea, Penn Plaza and Bryant Park slated to open soon. A representative from the company did not respond to a request for comment.

Blink is seeking to lease in spaces between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet on multiple levels.

Roseman said he was looking widely for locations.

“We are looking pretty much all over [Manhattan]. It is virgin territory,” Roseman said.