Friday, September 25, 2009


The downtown fire station is currently situated in between two busy one ways, which can be very congested and inconvenient. I think fire trucks could get to the accident scene faster, if they were out of the Renaissance Zone.
My mission is to relocate these redeemers, renovate their existing building, infill north and east on the site, and create a space to promote wellness for young professionals & students.
WHY? Downtown Fargo has many social hubs during the evening...How do we generate a way for these people to interact during the day? A wellness center.
Demanding lives and professions drive people to neglect personal wellness. There must be a work out facility located near where one dwells in order for that person to take advantage of it. Incentives in the Renaissance Zone have led to restoration and renovation projects. These projects are new spaces that create business & liveliness, improve human interaction, and incourage young and older people to move into renovated lofts or apartments. Also, with NDSU students now attending classes downtown, it's more common to occupy downtown apartments. 
Where there are people, there should be a wellness center. Downtown is no exception.
The nearest work-out facility is the family oriented YMCA located 5 or 6 blocks south from this site. Even though this is relatively close to my proposed wellness center, like I said, it's mostly about the family. I think as a young professional I would be more comfortable approaching a work-out place geared towards people like me. This new fitness center will provide food, a lounge or study space, equipment for physical wellness, and a good reason for young professionals or other downtown occupants to interact. 
In the long run, I think the YMCA could also benefit from this new club. The YMCA may loose business from the young professionals downtown, but I think they could take advantage of this shift.They could explore focusing on their main customer, the family, generate a new marketing strategy, bring in new 'family' equipment (whatever that is), and overall attract new families.

Spaces to Include:
~50'x84' gym (basketball, volleyball, badminton, indoor game space)
~studio (dance space, aerobics classes, yoga, etc.)
~free weight space
~cardio equipment space
~6'x10'x7' sauna
~locker rooms (male & female including toilets, showers, dressing space)
~cafe/lounge (indoor & outdoor space, with computers indoors)
~administration/trainer offices
~toilet for reception/admin./offices
~custodian room
~mechanical room
~prominent entry & circulation 

No need to worry! Who are the main customers and how do they operate?
1. The Student. Off campus students (not living downtown) drive to campus everyday and have a parking spot either at the T lot or at the Fargo Dome. The campus circulator buses are free transportation that run during most of the day and drive right by my proposed fitness center. On campus students can take the same free buses downtown! Downtown students can walk here. Everyone can bike here!
2. The Young Professional. Usually these people work 8 to 5, but there are exceptions! So, downtown occupants can either walk or ride a bicycle to the fitness center for free during the day. If they work downtown and want to work out afterwards, they can just leave their car at work and return to it after their wellness boost.
3. Immigrants. I can't speak for this customer because I'm definately a Fargo native. Although, I can make a few assumptions. Americans are lazy and think they need to drive places, many other cultures don't use cars regularly, and in most immigrants' cities and villages, walking is a normal commuting method.

SIDENOTE: There is a pay parking lot located directly south of my proposed site. During regular business hours if people are too lazy, they could park here and pay a couple dollars. After 5 and on weekends, this lot is free to park in.  Young professionals and students who want to work out anyday after 5 and on weekends can park here for FREE!

A positivist outlook on people today would say humans want to live life to its fullest. People want to live long, have money and job security, have friends and family, be confident, and achieve goals. Currently this is what the downtown offers in the different wellness sectors:
Spiritual -----We have multiple churches downtown Fargo.
Intellectual-----The university provides education.
Social-----Businesses downtown mix work and play for social interaction.
Environmental-----"Green" solutions for transportation.
Emotional-----Families and friends live downtown and provide this support for one another.
Physical-----Other than the YMCA, we have sidewalks to encourage pedestrian traffic. 
Each element of wellness acts as an ingredient or part of a whole.  I see this idea relating to the human body because we are one whole made of many systems. A person can operate without one system, but in order to accomplish optimal wellness all systems must be working.  How do we keep these systems working? We strengthen them and stretch them so they can withstand more, we properly fuel them, and maintain them. This fitness/wellness center sustains physical wellness while encouraging the other wellness elements. My parti is the human body.

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