Gym gets muscled out 'for Apple store'

Pure Fitness' management says building's tenants told to hand back space to landlord

The Pure Fitness gym at Knightsbridge mall in Orchard. PHOTO: PURE FITNESS

Members of a popular fitness club in Singapore were told yesterday that one of its two gyms will close by Dec 15.

In two e-mail messages sent out to members, the management of Pure Fitness said its 15,000 sq ft gym at the Knightsbridge mall in Orchard will close as part of a reorganisation plan for the site. The gym, together with other tenants in the building, is handing back the space to the landlord to make way for Singapore's first Apple store next year, it said.

"The reason for closing the gym is that we were given formal notification only very recently that we need to hand back our Knightsbridge space," one e-mail said.

Knightsbridge and Grand Park Orchard are owned by Bright Ruby Resources, a Singapore-incorporated vehicle controlled by the Du family of China.

Pure Fitness, which has another gym at Asia Square, is owned by the Hong Kong-based Pure Group, which also runs Pure Yoga at Ngee Ann City in Orchard Road and Chevron House in Raffles Place.

US tech giant Apple declined to comment when contacted. Its flagship stores overseas are known for their architectural designs.

Pure's management said more classes would be added to its facilities at Ngee Ann City and Asia Square. Knightsbridge patrons can transfer their contract to either facility, or get a refund of the unused portions. From next month to Dec 31, customers can access both facilities for free.

The chain is also looking for a much larger space in Orchard Road. Pure will be opening a new yoga studio in the CBD in the second quarter of next year, and another gym at an unspecified location late next year.

Other tenants in the 83,000 sq ft Knightsbridge, which opened in 2010, include CIMB Bank and fashion retail stores Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop/Topman, Abercrombie & Fitch and Brooks Brothers.

Ms Nurul Huda, a customer service officer at Pure Fitness' Knightsbridge outlet, confirmed the gym's impending closure and said it will "definitely compensate" customers on a case-by-case basis.

A Pure Fitness member of two years, public relations executive Melody Tan, 32, said she was disappointed to hear the news. She recently renewed her membership at both gyms for $200 a month.

"I'm surprised because I thought the Knightsbridge gym was quite busy and doing well. I hope they will open another gym in the town area, because that's more convenient for members."

  • Additional reporting by Lester Hio

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2015, with the headline Gym gets muscled out 'for Apple store'. Subscribe