Mecka Fitness.

Often new apartment buildings come with amenities like fitness centers, but a development underway in the Strip District for a fitness center plans to add apartments.

Mecka Fitness has announced its plans for 30 new apartments above the 10,000-square-foot gym at 2908 Smallman St.– the second location for Mecka — which is due to open soon.

“It’s going to be perfect for that new demographic that’s coming to the Strip,” says Kevin Beamon, owner of Mecka Fitness in Mt. Lebanon. “A lot of people want to live in a walking community. … It’s going to be geared towards the people who work at Uber across the street.”

Beamon says a rental price has not been set yet, but “they’re less than most of the new apartments (in the area),” adding, “It’ll feel like a deal if you’re coming from Boston or San Francisco.”

The project is under development by Pennrose, with Next Architecture designing the apartments. An opening is planned “definitely this year,” says Beamon.

Rendering courtesy of Mecka Fitness.

“In essence, it’s really focusing on the single tech or Robotics Row-type tenant,” says Beamon. “One-bedrooms and some are studios. Elevator, keyless entry.”

The project is one of many underway in the Strip which has seen an unprecedented number of new developments recently for both commercial and residential use. A major concern expressed by many — business owners, residents and visitors alike — is the lack of parking in the area. Another is the fear of rising rents driving out long-time businesses in the Penn Avenue and Smallman Streets corridor, the heart of the Strip. McDonald’s just closed on Penn and Pacha Mama, a Peruvian clothing store left when the rent increased by $1000 a month, according to the owner.

Mecka Fitness is expanding into the Strip to broaden its customer base beyond its Mt. Lebanon home.

“At Mecka, it’s a boutique fitness facility with many, many different types of classes — not just boot camp or yoga or CrossFit,” says Beamon. “We’re going high-end with a beauty bar, juice bar, retail, steam room and large glass garage doors, so we can bring Smallman Street in.”

Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife,...