The Bay Club, which took over from Spectrum Athletic Club in 2003, will close its doors on May 31.
Members received a letter from senior executive VP of operations Morell Marean on April 21, stating that “In the coming months our lease in Pacific Palisades will expire, and after much consideration, we have made the decision to not renew this lease.”
Marean told members that they can continue their membership with the newly renovated club in Santa Monica at the Water Garden, which is just six miles away. Monthly members who do not elect to continue with the Bay Club at another location will receive no further billing.
“Pacific Palisades members who wish to tour or try our other clubs in Los Angeles are encouraged to do so on a complimentary basis,” Marean said.
The rumors swirling around this small town included that the rent was being raised to more than $102,000 a month for the 27,000-sq.-ft. club; that before Covid more than 500 members generally used the club and now it’s only 200; and that the Bay Club had offered to buy the building from the landlord.
Circling the News spoke to Marean today (Monday). “We love the community, and we have relationships going back decades,” he said, adding that the lease had expired a year ago during the Covid lockdown but had been extended for a year. During that time, club officials negotiated with the landlord, but “we were not able to come to an agreement.”
Regarding membership, Marean said, “Overall the industry is rebounding nicely and we’re bullish on our future in L.A. Membership has picked up quite nicely and business has come back. We’re rapidly approaching pre-Covid numbers.”
In this case, Marean said the timing of the lease was one of the key factors to closing the Palisades location, which also includes a popular café that serves healthy food choices.
“We’re looking for opportunities in L.A. and if there were an opportunity to come back to the Palisades, we’d evaluate that possibility,” he said.
Regarding the lease, “We can’t comment on rent negotiations,” he said. “We spent a lot of time trying to craft a solution, but ultimately we were not able to get an agreement forged.”
In his letter to members, Marean wrote: “We are grateful for the loyalty shown by our members over the past several years. We hope to be able to serve you and your family through one of our other locations in Los Angeles and throughout California in the months and years to come. Thank you for your support.”
Marean urged people to come look at the newly renovated Santa Monica Club, a short Uber ride from most of the Palisades. “We have countless relationships in the Palisades that we value,” he said, and he hopes those people will stay with the Bay Club.
The current Bay Club location, at 17383 Sunset (corner of Sunset and Pacific Coast Highway), has been the site of a fitness center almost from the building’s opening in 1986.
A Pritikin Fitness Center was initially in the building, succeeded by the Pacific Athletic Club in 1991, and then the Spectrum gym, according to a Los Angeles Times story.
The 101,923-sq.-ft. main building, called Sunset Coast Plaza, is a three-story office and retail property, with a parking garage underneath. It underwent renovations in 1989 and 2001, and according to its website, there are numerous office spaces available.