Denver’s River North district will get its first full-service gym when Pura Vida club opens in World Trade Center project

The tenant list is coming together at the World Trade Center Denver mega project slated to open in the city’s River North district in 2020. Project partners hope the future occupant announced this week is one the whole neighborhood will want to be part of.

Pura Vida, the high-end, high-service fitness club in Cherry Creek North, has signed on to open a second club that will fill the entire second floor of the WTC Denver’s first-phase office tower, executives with the club and project developer Formativ told The Denver Post this week.

Pura Vida Studio RiNo, as the roughly 15,000-square-foot space will be known, will be a full-service health and wellness center like its sibling to the southeast. It will feature cardio equipment and free weights, plus abundant studio space dedicated to yoga classes, indoor cycling, high-intensity interval training and more. It will have access to the WTC Denver’s planned 20,000-square foot “sky garden” to take instruction outdoors.

J. Madden, Pura Vida’s founder, has looked into opening other clubs in the past. Now, just a few months after his business’ 10th anniversary, he is confident he’s found the right fit.

“My nature is to cold-call people and to try to establish relationships that way, and (Formativ) contacted me, which I found very gratifying,” Madden said, adding he bonded with Sean Campbell, Formativ’s founder and CEO. “They reached out to me in January, and here we are in July and we’re advancing.”

Clients at Pura Vida in Cherry ...
Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver PostClients at Pura Vida in Cherry Creek North participate in a rowing class in 2010. The fitness club at 2955 E. 1st Ave. celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year. In 2020, it will welcome a sister location in RiNo, after founder J. Madden agreed to open a new concept in the World Trade Center Denver project.

Formativ officials view Pura Vida as a marquee amenity for the tenants of its roughly 260,000 square feet of office space, as well as a feature for guests who stay at the project’s hotel and for RiNo residents.

“Our team has long believed that having a health and wellness element on campus was pivotal for the project,” Formativ COO Josh Marinos said in a statement. “Having the opportunity to partner with such a leader in the space, that is Denver-owned and operated, is something we are extremely proud of.”

Denver’s fitness landscape has evolved since Madden opened his Cherry Creek club in 2008. Crossfit gyms were rare then. Now, they’re everywhere. He expects the average age of the members at Studio RiNo will be lower than in Cherry Creek. Getting to know the customers and how they respond to Pura Vida will be key.

“I think we’re exceptionally well-positioned with the World Trade Center and the offerings we are going to provide,” Madden said. “We’re going to do some incredibly cool stuff that is unrivaled in Denver.”

There are no shortage of places to get a workout in RiNo. Corepower Yoga has a large studio on 29th Street off Brighton Boulevard. There are climbing gyms, cycling studios and other fitness concepts not far from where WTC Denver will be built at 38th and Walnut streets.

Jamie Licko, president of the RiNo Arts District, said Pura Vida will fill in one missing piece, though.

“We don’t really have a full-service gym offering,” she said. “That is a core piece of supporting a growing residential base.”

In addition to Pura Vida, other tenants announced for the WTC project so far include Colorado Thought Leaders Forum, Manufacturer’s Edge and Denver Sister Cities. As of May, the project was about 50 percent pre-leased.

Campbell, Formativ’s CEO, said the company is targeting a groundbreaking in August.

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