I have been enthusiastically involved in an exciting project over the last few weeks and have been looking forward to sharing the news. I was approached to join the team of HALO, a comprehensive new á la carte-style health-and-wellness center opening in New Canaan. I have to say I was very honored and humbled to be sought out mainly by reputation (thank you Julie!), and as the team continues to come together, I am confident that it is a very good fit. A very big thank you to investors Peter and Tracie! They definitely are FUN to work with. Anyone who says at one of our meetings “what snacks should we have on hand in the office for meetings?” is okay by me!
I elected to come on board as a part time consultant, so that in addition to partnering with HALO, I can continue running my InterPlay Health business (don’t worry, there’s plenty of MELT and Essential Oils fun coming up too). I’ve been having a blast and am currently knee deep in business strategy, creating packages, pricing options and checking out gym equipment. Last week one of the owners said he was going to make my title The Implementer (which I guess is better than Terminator), but this week he’s leaning toward Coach. Whatever it is, there is LOTS of very BIG stuff ahead for the wellness community in this area. We already have some of the most sought after health and fitness professionals in the area on tap to join us. Plus, in addition to the 16,000 square foot HALO space, the Racquet Club (with six tennis courts) will continue to operate right upstairs so that we are all under one roof.
I’ve re-posted the first (and so far only) press on HALO which appeared on September 4, 2014 on the newcanaanite.com website. Since some of the plans are still in negotiation I can’t share all the juicy stuff yet (though speaking of juice, we are planning a cool juice bar and cafe, and an awesome retail store). But read on to get the scoop, and check out my photos for an inside look.
New Grove Street Space To Feature Central Fitness Area, Health Services in Studios and Suites
The widely anticipated and complete renovation at 45 Grove St.—the walk-in level from the covered lot at the building that houses the New Canaan Racquet Club—will include a centrally located, open fitness area surrounded by 11 studios and suites where local experts will provide health- and wellness-related services, one of the property’s owners said.
Nearly all the walls have come down in the 16,000-square-foot space, which is being transformed into a comprehensive and varied wellness center where, within months, New Canaanites will be able to avail themselves of services offered on an á la carte basis, said Peter Lane of NCLC.
“I think what is unique about it is that the center of the facility and surrounding areas will be for New Canaan, and it’s a non-membership facility, so we hope that a lot more people will be able to access their health and wellness here as opposed to a traditional gym where you have your membership and you’re locked in,” Lane said Wednesday morning, standing near what will become an open fitness area in the heart of the yet-unnamed facility. “There is much more flexibility here to come in and get what you want, whether it’s yoga, which is great, or if you want to just go see one of the wellness professionals, that’s terrific, or come in and get on a cardio machine by the day—you are welcome.”
Though information is not yet available about which local professionals will work out of the space, they will include non-medical services and many experts in areas such as alternative and integrated therapies, Lane said.
Together, those experts will create a “dynamic and synergistic” community, he said. That’s especially true in the studios and suites—in those, Lane said, a “communal concept” will take hold whereby independent, local businesspeople who are experts in a specific area and perhaps aren’t right for their own full-time commercial space in New Canaan may rent by the hour or divide up use of a space with other professionals.
“We will have a critical mass of talent and offerings here for people looking to stay well and be healthy,” Lane said.
Meanwhile, development of a longer-term vision for the building as a whole is underway, Lane said, centering on plans for its first floor (upstairs, with the courts) and guided by the idea of opening the ample facility and its 150 parking spaces to the community in new ways. Pending several approvals, Lane said, while preserving the use of the club’s courts, NCLC officials are looking at using space there for meetings, parties and other events.
“We really want this facility to be more of a community center,” Lane said. “We’re looking forward to some exciting changes.”