Health junkies seeking something a little different from the typical gym experience will soon have a new option when Club Studio opens its doors at Marina Pacifica later this year.

The luxury gym is a new concept from Irvine-based Fitness International, the company that also owns LA Fitness, Esporta Fitness and City Sports Club. The first Club Studio location opened in Irvine in December.

The nearly 35,000-square-foot storefront at Marina Pacifica formerly housed Best Buy, which shuttered in October 2018. The space has sat vacant since.

Plans for the new concept come after a banner went up on the space in December 2021 that announced an LA Fitness gym. The company did not respond to request for comment about the decision to shift to the new brand, which is pricier than LA Fitness.

The Club Studio concept combines the offerings of niche gyms into one space. Club Studio features traditional equipment like treadmills, bikes and weights as well as bike classes, boxing classes, hot yoga, pilates and cardio trampoline classes.

Other amenities include a lap pool, basketball courts, a steam room, infrared sauna, a whirlpool spa, an organic cafe and cryotherapy, which involves “​​exposing the entire body to temperatures that range between -148º Fahrenheit to -256º Fahrenheit, for as little as 3 minutes reaping many health benefits including sports rehabilitation and reducing inflammation and swelling,” according to the company’s website.

The shift from plans for an LA Fitness, however, caused some controversy with nearby residents in the Marina Pacifica Condos. Dawna Fay, who lives in the complex and owns Romance Etc. on Second Street in Belmont Shore, said residents were offered a discounted membership to the forthcoming LA Fitness location.

If they signed up on July 29, Fay said residents were promised the discounted membership fees would not be charged until the new location opened—which was originally slated for sometime in the third quarter.

Work is underway on Club Studio, a luxury gym concept coming to Marina Pacifica in Southeast Long Beach. Monday, Feb. 21, 2023. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Despite its promises, the company charged the residents for the membership even though the gym was not open. Residents were later told of the change in concept for the space, making their memberships meaningless, as LA Fitness members do not have access to Club Studio facilities.

After months of back-and-forth, Fay said, the residents were finally able to get refunds.

“Even though I wanted the membership that was proposed to us, I clearly won’t be joining any gym that they are behind,” Fay said in an email to the Business Journal. “Dishonesty and deceit are two characteristics I just do not tolerate.”

The company did not respond to questions about the allegations.

While LA Fitness has memberships starting at just $40 per month with a $99 initiation fee, Club Studio runs $189 per month—with the first and last months fees due upfront.

It remains unclear when the new gym is slated to open, but construction is expected to wrap in July, according to a worker on site. After that, Club Studio will have to bring in equipment.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.