Cole Valley Fitness to go dark for seismic retrofit

Businesses across Cole Valley have temporarily shuttered in recent years for seismic retrofits of their buildings. The latest to do so is Cole Valley Fitness, the gym and personal training studio that's held down the corner of Cole and Frederick streets for over 20 years, and will close up at the end of next month.

Rather than a stressor, the retrofit is going to be a relief, said owner Andrew Chaban.

"We've been waiting for this retrofit to happen, because we knew it had to happen," Chaban said. "We've been in a holding pattern for almost three years. This thing has been lingering too long. Just tear the Band-Aid off."

In addition to making the building legally compliant, Chaban said the retrofit provides an opportunity to equip the gym with a host of upgrades he'd been putting off until it happened, including new locker rooms.

"We're actually going to donate most of our [exercise] equipment," rather than pay to store it, he said. "It's older. It's a good chance for us to get new equipment."

The retrofit is expected to take four to six months. Chaban said negotiations for a post-retrofit lease on the space are still pending, but he's optimistic about the demonstrated demand for Cole Valley Fitness in the neighborhood.

In the meantime, "people can continue their fitness programs" up the hill at UCSF's gym, Chaban said. "That's the one thing we were really worried about."

Cole Valley Fitness will be open through April 30, from 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m - 6 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sundays. Membership windows will be gradually reduced until the gym reopens later this year.

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