Brandy McGehee, who lives near Foster Park, jumped at the chance to take classes at the new Catalyst Fitness at 2038 Broadway, just south of the Broadway/Taylor Street intersection.
“It's close to home, and it actually gets me out,” said McGehee, taking a short break from a Zumba class Monday night.
Jason Minich, who owns Catalyst Fitness, recently opened the second-floor studio, which offers personal training services and fitness classes. Another Catalyst Fitness is at 508 N. Hadley Road, inside Wildwood Racquet Club. He cited multiple reasons for opening the studio on Broadway, including wanting to help people in all areas of the community become healthier and more active.
“As part of that, we cannot hide out in the outskirts of Fort Wayne where it would generally make the most sense to run a personal training/personal fitness business,” he said. “We need to get into those underserved areas. The areas with little to no fitness options — and the Broadway corridor would certainly fit that description.”
It's also a main corridor for people driving into and out of downtown, so he hopes to serve those who work downtown by offering classes at noon, as well as classes before work in the morning and after work in the evening.
Broadway appealed to him for other reasons as well, saying, “The Broadway corridor is on the way up in my opinion. There is a lot going on and a lot of new life coming that way. When you couple that with the opportunity to operate out of a very old building that has been restored, then it was an easy decision for me.
“The space itself is beautiful,” he said. “With original, native lumber hardwood floors, brick walls and more, our new Broadway location offers Fort Wayne something that is unique. It's already being compared to trendy fitness studios in much larger cities because of the unique atmosphere. I love it. I would much rather work out of a space like that than a strip mall setting.”
McGehee agreed. “I love this spot with the exposed bricks and wood floor,” she said.
Instructor Sarah Ellsworth-Hoffman, who lives downtown, appreciates the proximity of the studio to her home.
“I love it down here,” said Ashley Jylland-Hade, a personal trainer for Catalyst who grew up downtown and went to South Side High School.