Life Time Work: Full Steam Ahead on Downtown Minneapolis Location
When the pandemic first hit last spring and turned the economy upside down, many pundits were quick to write obituaries for operators of co-working office spaces. How could they survive in a climate of uncertainty with most of the world working from home?
But it turns out the economic uncertainty created by Covid-19 might have a big upside for co-working spaces.
Chanhassen-based Life Time, primarily known for its fitness clubs, is pressing ahead with its plans for a Life Time Work co-working space in downtown Minneapolis. Life Time Work has started pre-leasing the new space, which is now set to open in April. Life Time Work is taking the top three floors of the former YMCA building. The 53,000-square-foot space will be the company’s sixth location – and its largest so far.
“We firmly believe that in a moment like this for companies like ours to double down in downtown Minneapolis is more important than ever,” James O’Reilly, president of Life Time Work, told Twin Cities Business on Wednesday afternoon.
Life Time had previously announced plans for the location back in March, just before the pandemic hit.
Given current economic uncertainties, O’Reilly said that more and more companies are going to be looking for more options and flexibility. Life Time Work caters to “established professionals” instead of twentysomethings chasing a startup idea.
“A lot of people who are at the end of their leases are not going to renew a traditional lease,” said O’Reilly. “We actually think there’s going to be a lot of demand.”
O’Reilly said that one company, which he declines to name, has already committed to taking enough space for an office of 18 people.
“They brought the team through while we’re under construction,” O’Reilly said. “They love the space. We do think that’s a sign of things to come.”
The former YMCA building is being overhauled by Minneapolis-based Swervo Development Corp., led by Ned Abdul. The redevelopment is dubbed Thirty, a nod to its address at 30 S. Ninth St. Abdul has established a reputation for bringing new life to vintage properties that have seen better days.
Life Time Work has five current locations in St. Louis Park, Edina, Philadelphia, Houston, and Bridgewater, New Jersey. Including the downtown Minneapolis location, the company plans to open three or four new locations in 2021.
O’Reilly said that despite the pandemic, the Life Time Work locations in St. Louis Park and at Southdale in Edina are not empty.
“Both are doing well,” said O’Reilly. “We feel pretty good about where we are.”