Thayer Street will become home to the Ocean State’s first Rev’d Indoor Cycling spin studio by the end of this year.
The studio will occupy the space above Berks Shoes and Clothing, which was filled by Shanghai Restaurant until early 2018. “It’s a great spot, to be honest,” said Meaghan St. Marc, co-founder and co-owner of Rev’d. “That space was pretty perfect for us.”
Rev’d has been in talks about leasing the space from its owner, the University, since early spring 2018. “The space was broadly marketed, and there are always a variety of businesses who are seeking to occupy space on Thayer Street,” wrote John Luipold, vice president of real estate and strategic initiatives. Rev’d will complement other non-food focused businesses on Thayer such as Ritual Sweat Society, Luipold added.
“The retail real estate market is in a state of upheaval. Traditional (non-food) retailers are generally reducing their physical footprints, whereas businesses which offer experiences, particularly fitness-related, are growing,” Luipold wrote.
The University hopes that the introduction of Rev’d will increase traffic to College Hill from the rest of the Providence community, but “it’s hard to say that any one business will drive more customers” to the area, Luipold added.
Talks between Rev’d and the University started after “we were connected mutually by real estate brokers in the area that were seeking opportunities for the vacancies on Thayer Street,” St. Marc said.
St. Marc is confident that Rev’d will perform well. “We see the renaissance of that area happening right now, and that is exciting for us,” St. Marc said. Rev’d opened their first three locations in suburban Massachusetts, which St. Marc sees as a more difficult area in which to achieve brand success.
Because Rev’d’s largest clientele will likely be students, the company plans to provide some kind of discount to create loyalty for the brand, St. Marc said. “We understand students don’t always have expendable income to buy into services like this,” she added. While Rev’d has not yet officially released pricing for students, they plan to solidify student packages in the next few days.
The introduction of Rev’d could provide competition for the Jonathan Nelson ’77 Fitness Center, but the Nelson isn’t worried about the addition of another fitness studio. “We definitely want to get (students) in here and make sure that they’re given everything they need,” said Jason Bishoff, manager of the Nelson.
The Graduate Student Council recently reached an agreement with the Nelson to provide graduate students with free fitness classes, including spin courses, The Herald previously reported. The Nelson hopes to provide the same service to undergraduate students soon. “We actually started working on free classes for undergraduates” since fall of last year, Bishoff said.
Currently, the Nelson offers four classes per month for free to University students. The Nelson also charges a $95 year-long membership to students, which gives students unlimited access to 29 different group fitness courses.
“If (spin classes) were the only thing we focused on here, I would be more concerned about Rev’d, but we offer such a variety of things. … I don’t think one spin studio will take too much away from our population,” Bishoff added.