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How much does it cost to build a commercial gym facility?

How much does it cost to build a commercial gym facility?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on January 24, 2024 — Updated on January 25, 2024

The cost to build a commercial gym facility from the ground up can range from $200,000 on the low end to $5,000,000 or more on the high end.

How much does it cost to build a commercial gym facility?

When you decide to open a gym, one of the most important costs to open a gym include the decision to either lease an existing building or build your own gym building from the ground up. Building a gym from the ground up involves a substantial investment, as it encompasses construction costs, interior fittings, equipment, and operational setup. The total commercial gym facility cost can vary widely based on location, size of the facility, and the level of amenities you plan to include.

Prospective gym owners who want to open a gym should plan for substantial initial cost to build a gym facility and have a gym budget in place before beginning a gym construction project (learn how to create a gym budget, how to create a gym sales forecast, how to negotiate a gym lease, how to get the best gym insurance, and how to get a gym loan with our free guides).

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The cost to build a commercial gym facility is a complex figure that varies based on multiple factors such as the type of gym, location of the gym, the gym business model, potential gym franchise costs, and whether you are planning to scale to multiple gym locations. Read on to find out more, then be sure to find out why Exercise.com is the best gym software system for gyms of all sizes who want to learn how to start a fitness business and to manage their business in one place. Compare the best gym management software and the best personal training software so you can see just what you can do on the Exercise.com platform.

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Commercial Gym Construction Cost by Gym Type

See the below approximate overall commercial gym facility construction cost estimate for each type of gym:

Cost CategorySmall/Boutique GymMid-Size GymLarge Commercial Gym
Land Acquisition$50,000 – $200,000$200,000 – $500,000$500,000 – $1,000,000+
Construction Costs$100,000 – $500,000$500,000 – $1,000,000$1,000,000 – $4,000,000+
Architectural and Design Fees$5,000 – $25,000$25,000 – $50,000$50,000 – $200,000
Gym Equipment$10,000 – $50,000$50,000 – $100,000$100,000 – $500,000
Interior Fittings and Finishings$10,000 – $40,000$20,000 – $60,000$40,000 – $100,000
Utilities and Maintenance$2,000 – $5,000/month$5,000 – $10,000/month$10,000 – $20,000/month
Insurance$1,000 – $5,000/year$5,000 – $10,000/year$10,000 – $20,000/year
Staffing$30,000 – $100,000/year$100,000 – $200,000/year$200,000 – $500,000/year
Marketing and Advertising$5,000 – $20,000$20,000 – $50,000$50,000 – $100,000
Licenses and Permits$1,000 – $5,000$5,000 – $10,000$10,000 – $20,000
Total (Approximate)$200,000 – $1,000,000+$800,000 – $2,000,000+$1,500,000 – $5,000,000+

This table provides a broad approximation of the potential investment required for building a gym facility for different types of gyms. It’s important to note that these figures are estimates and actual costs can vary based on numerous factors, including specific location, design choices, and market conditions.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the primary costs:

  1. Land Acquisition: The cost of purchasing land for your gym facility is the first significant expense. Prices vary greatly depending on the location and size of the plot.
  2. Construction Costs: This includes the price of materials and labor to construct the building. On average, commercial construction costs can range from $100 to $400 per square foot, depending on the region and the complexity of the building design.
  3. Architectural and Design Fees: Hiring architects and designers to plan your gym facility can cost between 5% to 15% of your total construction costs.
  4. Gym Equipment: Equipping a commercial gym with a full range of fitness machines, weights, and other gear can cost anywhere from $30,000 to over $100,000, depending on the quality and quantity of equipment.
  5. Interior Fittings and Finishings: This includes flooring, lighting, locker rooms, and other interior amenities. Gym-specific flooring, for example, can cost $3 to $10 per square foot.
  6. Utilities Setup: Setting up utilities such as electricity, water, HVAC systems, and internet can add a significant amount to your initial costs.
  7. Permits and Legal Fees: Obtaining the necessary building permits and paying for legal fees can add several thousand dollars to your budget.
  8. Insurance: Construction insurance during the building phase and commercial insurance for operation can also contribute to the costs.
  9. Marketing and Pre-Opening Expenses: Budget for marketing campaigns, pre-opening events, and initial staff hiring and training.

In total, the cost to build a commercial gym facility from scratch can easily exceed several million dollars. For a modest-sized facility of about 10,000 square feet, the cost could be in the range of $1 million to $4 million, considering all the aforementioned factors. However, these are broad estimates, and actual costs will vary greatly based on specific project details, regional pricing differences, and the level of luxury or specialization of the gym.

Land Acquisition

Acquiring land is the foundational step in building a commercial gym facility. The cost of land is contingent on various factors like location, size, and zoning regulations.

  • Location: Urban or highly desirable areas generally have higher land costs compared to rural or less developed areas.
  • Size of the Plot: Larger plots of land will naturally cost more, but they also offer more flexibility for future expansion.
  • Zoning and Permits: Ensure the land is zoned for commercial use and factor in any costs related to obtaining building permits or rezoning if necessary.

Purchasing land in the right location is crucial as it not only affects the initial cost but also the potential success of the gym. It’s important to conduct thorough research and possibly consult real estate professionals to find a plot that aligns with your business goals.

Read More:

Construction Costs

The actual construction of the building is one of the most significant expenses in creating a gym facility.

  • Material Costs: The choice of building materials can greatly affect the overall cost, with options ranging from standard to high-end finishes.
  • Labor Costs: These can vary depending on the region and the complexity of the construction project.
  • Size and Design of the Facility: A larger facility with a more complex design will require more materials and labor, increasing overall costs.

Construction costs need careful planning and budgeting. It’s advisable to get quotes from several contractors and to have a contingency budget for unforeseen expenses that often arise during construction.

Architectural and Design Fees

Professional fees for architects and designers are crucial for a well-planned gym facility.

  • Designing the Layout: Costs for designing the layout of the gym, including workout spaces, locker rooms, and other facilities.
  • Aesthetic and Functional Design: Balancing the aesthetic appeal with functional design specific to a gym’s needs.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Ensuring that the design adheres to all local building codes and regulations.

Investing in quality architectural and interior design services can significantly impact the functionality and appeal of your gym, potentially increasing its long-term success.

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Gym Equipment

Equipping your gym with the right machinery and accessories is a major expense that will vary based on the quality and quantity of equipment.

  • Types of Equipment: Costs will differ based on whether you’re equipping a basic gym or a specialized facility (like a CrossFit or a high-end boutique gym).
  • New vs. Used Equipment: While new equipment is more expensive, it comes with warranties and the latest features. Used equipment can be more cost-effective.
  • Bulk Purchases: Buying equipment in bulk or from a single supplier can often reduce costs.

Quality equipment is a significant investment but is essential for attracting and retaining members. It’s also a key factor in the overall perception of your gym’s brand.

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Interior Fittings and Finishings

The interior fittings and finishings play a vital role in the overall look and feel of your gym.

  • Flooring: Specialized gym flooring is essential for safety and can range from basic rubber mats to advanced shock-absorbent surfaces.
  • Lighting: Good lighting is crucial, especially in workout and locker areas. Energy-efficient lighting can reduce long-term costs.
  • Locker Rooms and Bathrooms: These areas need to be well-designed for functionality and durability, often requiring water-resistant materials and fixtures.

The interior design of your gym should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also functional and durable, considering the high-traffic nature of the facility. This aspect of the gym greatly influences member experience and satisfaction. These aspects form the foundational expenses in building a commercial gym. Each requires careful consideration and planning to ensure that the final facility meets both business objectives and client expectations.

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Utilities and Maintenance

Setting up and maintaining utilities is an essential, ongoing cost for a commercial gym.

  • Initial Setup Costs: Installation of electrical, water, HVAC, and internet systems.
  • Monthly Utility Bills: Expenses for electricity, water, heating, and internet, which can vary based on the gym’s size and usage.
  • Maintenance Costs: Regular maintenance of the facility and equipment to ensure safety and functionality.

Utilities and maintenance are critical for creating a comfortable and safe environment for gym goers. Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of the equipment but also helps in avoiding costly repairs or replacements in the future.

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Insurance is a vital component in protecting your gym business against potential liabilities.

  • General Liability Insurance: Covers most risks associated with running a gym, including injuries and accidents.
  • Property Insurance: Protects the facility and equipment against damage or loss.
  • Worker’s Compensation: Necessary if you have employees, to cover any job-related injuries or illnesses.

Selecting the right insurance coverage ensures that your gym is safeguarded against unforeseen circumstances, thereby securing your investment and business continuity.

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Hiring qualified staff is crucial for the successful operation of a commercial gym.

  • Salaries and Wages: Costs associated with hiring fitness trainers, reception staff, cleaning crews, and maintenance personnel.
  • Training and Certifications: Investing in staff training and certifications can enhance the quality of service offered at your gym.
  • Employee Benefits: Providing competitive benefits can attract and retain quality staff.

Staff costs are a significant part of your operating budget, but skilled and friendly staff are essential for customer satisfaction and retention.

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Marketing and Advertising

Effective marketing and advertising strategies are crucial for attracting members to your new gym.

  • Initial Marketing Campaigns: Costs associated with launching your gym, including digital marketing, local advertising, and grand opening events.
  • Ongoing Marketing Expenses: Regular promotions, social media marketing, and community outreach efforts to keep attracting new members.
  • Branding: Costs involved in developing your gym’s brand identity, including logo design, signage, and promotional materials.

Investing in marketing and advertising not only helps in building brand awareness but also drives membership sales, which are crucial for the gym’s long-term success.

Read More: Gym Marketing Ideas

Licenses and Permits

Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is a critical step in setting up a gym.

  • Business Licenses: Depending on your location, you may need specific licenses to operate a commercial gym.
  • Building Permits: Required for new construction or major renovations.
  • Health and Safety Permits: Ensuring your gym meets all health and safety regulations.

While these costs may not be as high as others, they are essential for legally operating your gym and maintaining compliance with local regulations.

Read More: Commercial Gym Punch List Template

Each of these components plays a crucial role in the successful creation and operation of a commercial gym. While the initial investment may be substantial, meticulous planning and management can lead to a profitable and sustainable fitness business.

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How profitable is owning a gym?

Owning a gym can be quite profitable, with average annual profits ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 and above for well-managed facilities. Success hinges on factors like location, gym size, membership fees, and operational efficiency. Exercise.com’s software enhances profitability by streamlining management tasks and improving member engagement.

Read More: How profitable is owning a gym?

How much does it take to build a commercial gym?

The cost to build a commercial gym typically ranges from $50,000 to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on the gym’s size, location, and the type of equipment and amenities offered. Exercise.com can assist in reducing operational costs through efficient gym management software.

How much capital is needed to start a gym?

Starting a gym requires capital ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for a small, basic gym, and up to $500,000 or more for a larger facility with high-end equipment and amenities. Budgeting should account for equipment, rental space, staff salaries, and marketing.

How to build your own commercial gym?

To build your own commercial gym:

  1. Create a Business Plan: Outline your vision, target audience, and financial projections.
  2. Secure Funding: Obtain the necessary capital through loans, savings, or investors.
  3. Choose a Location: Find a suitable space that’s accessible and meets your size requirements.
  4. Purchase Equipment: Invest in quality gym equipment that caters to your target market.
  5. Hire Staff: Recruit qualified and experienced fitness professionals.
  6. Market Your Gym: Use various marketing strategies to attract members.
  7. Leverage Gym Management Software: Utilize platforms like Exercise.com to streamline operations and enhance the member experience.

Is opening a gym a good investment?

Opening a gym can be a good investment if it’s well-planned and managed. The fitness industry shows resilience and growth potential, but success depends on factors like location, market research, and effective management, for which Exercise.com’s software can be a valuable asset.

Is it worth it to open a gym?

Opening a gym can be worth it if you have a clear business strategy, understand your target market, and are prepared for the initial financial commitment and ongoing operational demands. Utilizing management tools like those offered by Exercise.com can significantly contribute to a gym’s success and worth.

What insurance do I need for a gym?

For a gym, you need several types of insurance, including general liability, professional liability, property insurance, and workers’ compensation. These cover various risks associated with operating a fitness facility, from equipment damage to client injuries.

Read More: What insurance do I need for a gym?

How much can you make owning a small gym?

Owning a small gym can yield profits ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per month, depending on factors like location, membership fees, operational efficiency, and services offered. Implementing a robust gym management system like Exercise.com can enhance profitability through improved member retention and streamlined operations.

Read More: Gym Owner Average Salary

What is a good size for a commercial gym?

A good size for a commercial gym typically ranges from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet. This size allows for a variety of equipment and spaces for different workout zones, such as cardio, strength training, group classes, and personal training areas.

Read More: What is a good size for a commercial gym?

Is it hard owning a gym?

Owning a gym can be challenging, involving tasks like managing finances, staff, member retention, and facility maintenance. However, with effective planning, strong marketing strategies, and the use of comprehensive gym management tools like Exercise.com, these challenges can be successfully navigated.

Read More: Pros and Cons of Owning a Gym

Is it easy to start a gym business?

Starting a gym business isn’t necessarily easy and requires careful planning, market research, substantial capital, and dedication. However, it can be made more manageable with the use of resources and tools like Exercise.com, which streamline business operations and member management.

What equipment is needed to start a gym?

To start a gym, essential equipment includes cardiovascular machines (treadmills, ellipticals, bikes), strength training equipment (free weights, resistance machines), functional fitness gear (kettlebells, medicine balls), and space for stretching and group classes.

Read More: What equipment is needed to start a gym?

How do I open a yoga studio?

To open a yoga studio:

  1. Develop a Business Plan: Define your yoga studio’s concept, target audience, and financial projections.
  2. Choose a Location: Select a space that’s accessible and suitable for yoga classes.
  3. Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Design your studio to be a calm and inviting space.
  4. Hire Qualified Instructors: Recruit experienced and certified yoga teachers.
  5. Market Your Studio: Use social media, local advertising, and community events to attract clients.
  6. Use Management Software: Platforms like Exercise.com can assist in scheduling classes, managing clients, and marketing.

Read More: How to Open a Yoga Studio

Which is the best brand for gym equipment?

The best brand for gym equipment often depends on specific needs and budgets, but popular choices include Life Fitness, Precor, Rogue Fitness, and Technogym, known for their quality, durability, and range of products.

Do commercial gyms make money?

Yes, commercial gyms can make money. Their profitability depends on factors like membership rates, operational efficiency, the range of services offered, and effective marketing. Successful gyms typically have a strong member base and manage expenses well.

Read More: How do gyms make money?

How to start a gym business with no money?

Starting a gym business with no money is challenging but possible by:

  1. Securing a Loan or Investors: Look for business loans or investors willing to fund your startup.
  2. Leasing Equipment: Instead of buying, lease gym equipment to reduce upfront costs.
  3. Starting Small: Begin with a small space or even outdoor classes to minimize rental costs.
  4. Building Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses for mutual promotion.
  5. Growing Gradually: Reinvest profits back into the business for gradual growth.

Read More: How to Start a Gym with No Money

Are commercial gyms cheaper?

Commercial gyms can be cheaper to join compared to boutique studios due to their scale. They often offer a wide range of amenities and services at competitive prices, attracting a broader member base.

What is the success rate of gyms?

The success rate of gyms varies, but generally, around 60% of gyms and fitness studios can survive the first few years. Success rates improve with effective business strategies, strong customer service, and efficient operational management.

Read More: Reasons Gyms Fail

What is the toughest thing about being a gym owner?

The toughest thing about being a gym owner is managing the multiple aspects of the business, including finances, staff management, member retention, and keeping up with industry trends. Overcoming these challenges often requires a comprehensive approach and the use of effective tools like Exercise.com.

Read More: What challenges do gym owners face?

How can Exercise.com help me run a successful gym business?

Exercise.com can help run a successful gym business by providing a comprehensive platform for managing all aspects of your gym. This includes member management, scheduling, billing, reporting, and creating custom-branded apps for member engagement. Its versatile software streamlines operations, enhances member experience, and ultimately contributes to increased efficiency and profitability.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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