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Wellness business sector growing in Metuchen

Fitness sneakers for an exercise workout.

METUCHEN – Since the inception of the Metuchen Downtown Alliance in 2016, some of the district’s most significant growth has been in the wellness sector, according to Isaac Kremer, executive director of the alliance.

“Roughly two out of each five new businesses that have opened in the past three years have had health, exercise, wellness and healthy lifestyles as a primary focus,” he said.

The businesses include Isolation Fitness, Title Boxing Club, Hot Yoga Revolution, ELITE Fitness Alliance, and most recently Sentirisi Studio that provides Pilates classes.

Wellness has become an increasing focus with the addition of Body Mechanics Massage Therapy, ANSH Chiropractic and Trinity Physical Therapy Rehab, Kremer said.

“Our market analysis in 2017 identified health and personal care stores had $6.15 million in sales and $21.374 million of consumer demand within Metuchen,” Kremer said. “Therefore, it is natural to understand and see why and how so many businesses have opened in this sector since that time.”

Beyond health and wellness studios, there are several restaurants and stores catering to healthy styles, Kremer said.

“Whole Foods [Market] is a new addition, while Pyramid Vitamin has been a staple on Main Street for over 40 years,” he said. “Several restaurants now provide vegetarian and/or vegan options. These include Frutta Bowls, The Kabab Factory, Dean’s Cafe & Juice Bar and Olive Press Eatery.”

To enhance the wellness sector growth, the Borough Council amended an ordinance relating to health clubs, gyms, fitness centers and physical fitness studios at a meeting on Aug. 12.

“It will be exciting to see what new businesses, thanks to this new ordinance, we are able to introduce to Metuchen next,” Kremer said. “One we are looking for in particular is a cycling studio looking to open here.”

The Metuchen Downtown Alliance area, which consists of only commercial businesses and/or commercial businesses with residential units, includes the Metuchen SportsPlex on Durham Avenue down Middlesex Avenue with the new development to Main Street and Amboy Avenue.

Borough Administrator Jay Muldoon said the amended ordinance provides a definition for physical fitness studios and sets it as a new classification for the B-1 Central Business District; B-2 Neighborhood Business District; B-3 Office Business District; B-4 Restricted Business District; B-5 Restricted Business District; and the D-1 Downtown Development District.

The amended ordinance also provides a definition of a health club, which Muldoon said has been in the ordinance for years.

Health clubs, gyms or fitness centers are “establishments that provide facilities for multiple types of exercise and fitness programs.”

Physical fitness studios are “establishments that provide instruction, classes or training in specialized areas of physical fitness such as Pilates, boxing, martial arts, functional fitness training, yoga, stretching, cycling or other types of fitness training.”

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@newspapermediagroup.com.

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