A second Blink Fitness gym is due to open in Longwood later this year, at 932 Southern Boulevard off of Hunts Point Avenue. The gym signed a 15-year lease and will replace the failed Conway Stores, which occupied the space until a couple of months ago.
Blink is part of the same corporation that runs Equinox gyms, yet the fees are much lower. According to the website, membership packages begin at $15 monthly, compared to gyms such as New York Sport’s Club (NYSC), which has membership prices starting at $40 monthly. According to the Equinox website, memberships begin at $160 monthly, as well as an initiation fee.
There are already several other locations in the Bronx in addition to the one in Longwood, on 744 St. Ann’s Ave., including Blink Parkchester, Blink Concourse Village, Blink Riverdale and Blink Grand Concourse. In total, there are 35 Blink Fitness locations in New York City, with five scheduled to open soon.
Health and fitness has been a problem in the South Bronx over the years, with 1 in 4 elementary school children being reported as obese, as well as 1 in 6 high school kids, according to statistics collected by the city’s Health Department and published as part of the 2015 Community Health Profile. Not only is weight a severe issue for young people, starting as early as toddler and elementary school years, but weight issues are known to lead to even more serious health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes and issues with cholesterol and high blood pressure, both of which could lead to heart attacks if not monitored properly.
At Blink Fitness Grand Concourse in Fordham, rows upon rows of elliptical machines and treadmills gleam under the fluorescent lights. The walls are painted bright shades of blue, green and red, similar to the logo mounted to the building outside. Fans blow, men flow in and out of the free-weight section. Bottles of water are propped precariously against equipment. Everything and everyone seems to be in constant motion, whether running, squatting, lifting and jumping. Bright television screens and loud music pump and flow along with the energy of those working out. “We put mood above muscle,” is the corporate trademark.
“I’m excited for Blink to have such a presence in the Bronx,” says Demetri Solis, 21, the manager of Blink Grand Concourse. “I think it will mean big things for the health of those in the Bronx, since it’s a borough known for health issues.”