Selby exercises its right to move

AFTER 31 years of operation on the corner of Selby Street and Scarborough Beach Road, the redevelopment of its Osborne-Park premises has forced Selby Health and Fitness to relocate dozens of cardiovascular machines and 2,000 members.

For operators Mark and Elise Irwin the move has turned out to be a fruitful one, providing them with more modern facilities and extra room to grow the business.

According to Mr Irwin the extensive move at the weekend will help position the health club as one of WA’s largest facilities, offering members a purpose-built creche, massage rooms, beautician room, dedicated aerobics room, air-conditioning, and dozens of new machines and equipment.

“It takes it to the next level,” Mr Irwin said. 

Unlike other business moves the relocation of a gym needs to be within a reasonable location of the existing site in order to accommodate members and the new site must meet council restrictions to provide disabled toilets, shower facilities, and parking.

For Mr Irwin the best of a difficult situation was found in the takeover of a fledging competitor, Body and Life Health and Fitness, located just one kilometre north of Selby’s current premises.

“It opened about six years ago as Spartans, a Melbourne-based company claiming to be the biggest and best gym to open in Perth,” Mr Irwin told WA Business News.

“They forgot about the fact that people are involved and all they really care about is the service and the atmosphere.

“Then it became The Gym and then Body and Life.”

Mr Irwin struck a deal to takeover Body and Life a fortnight before the recent move and said it had obvious benefits over other sites in the area.

“It is at the borderline of where we limited the move,” he said.

“We didn’t want to move further away from Zest [located about 1km up Scarborough Beach Road] and didn’t want to go further than the lake [Lake Monger].

“It’s a very narrow space, especially when you look at the property values.”

A rezoning application is currently before the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to change the use of the Selby Street premises, which also houses Cash Converters and Empire Furniture, from general industrial to special use, general industrial and industrial showrooms.

“We knew the redevelopment could happened for the last couple of years but it became more likely a year ago when the site was sold again,” Mr Irwin said.

“We’ve spent a good year looking at a few properties.”

The team at Selby spent all of last weekend knocking out walls and building new facilities in time for its opening this week.

“We are building a creche with a 4m by 8m creche theatre. It has TVs and I believe we are the first gym to offer that,” Mr Irwin said.

While Selby also moved its cardiovascular machines, it will auction its weights and retain the existing muscle builders from Body and Health.

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