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Equinox Buying Beverly Hills' Sports Club/LA

Also, the City Council supports Equinox's construction plans for a location at 9465 Wilshire Blvd.

The in Beverly Hills, whose members include Mayor Barry Brucker, Councilwoman Lili Bosse and other city officials, is being sold to its rival, Equinox, the club said Thursday.

In a letter released to members, the management of the club wrote that it has "decided to enter in an agreement with Equinox to sell the Sports Club/LA clubs in West L.A., Beverly Hills, Orange County and Rockefeller Center [in New York City]."

The sale is not yet final, but is expected to close in September or October. Sports Club/LA management said "the transition should be seamless" for members.

The undated letter is signed by company Chairman and co-founder Michael Talla, President and co-founder Nannette Pattee Francini and CEO Rex Licklider.

Employees at the Beverly Hills Sports Club/LA said they had no additional information about the planned sale and that they had not been informed of it before the announcement.

It is not clear whether the news will change to open a three-floor, 37,000-square-foot facility at 9465 Wilshire Blvd. On Aug. 2, the City Council unanimously denied against the sports club's proposal to make facade changes to the ground floor exterior of the Wilshire building.

Appellants Ron and Sharon Gart, who lead a group called Neighbors Organized to Protect the Environment, or NOPE, had challenged the Architectural Commission's approval for a new pedestrian entrance, new signage, the installation of window film to obscure exercise areas and new landscaping, according to a Community Development Department staff report.

"We continue to believe that this project does require environmental review under [the California Environmental Quality Act] and we do believe that the project will have a substantial adverse impact on the historic resource," said attorney Todd Elliot, who represents the appellants.

Those opposed to Equinox's design plans claim the Wilshire Boulevard building, which was built in 1960 and designed by renowned commercial architect Victor Gruen, is a historic structure and should not be altered.

Council members reiterated their support for the Equinox project before rendering their decision to deny the appeal. The fitness club has hired Gruen Associates, the firm started by Victor Gruen, to design the alterations to the building.

"Why should we be concerned with a few reversible changes on a Gruen done by Gruen's own firm?" Councilman John Mirisch said.

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Sherri Levin August 05, 2011 at 11:27 PM
I'm a member of Sports Club and am sad about the news. The Beverly Hills Club has a true community feeling and is both large enough yet intimate enough to feel at home but not cramped. The clientele range from Beverly High School students, to local moms, dads, and working people. Navigating the club is easy and the ability not to have to walk several levels, back and forth, to do a weight workout is a plus. The yoga room is private and offers the right ambiance. Everything about the Beverly Hills Club works. I would hate to see the club lose its quiet sophistication to one where going to the gym feels like a "scene". I only hope Equinox can keep the integrity of this community oriented gym and realize that Beverly Hills is a small city whose residents are family minded people.
Tom Pease August 06, 2011 at 11:28 PM
I'll bet that they still go forward with Equinox and keep the Sports Club separate, like Bally's does with Crunch.
Edward Fitz August 10, 2011 at 06:39 AM
I've been an executive member at the Beverly Hills club since it opened in 2003. I'm very disappointed that the entire, very professional and responsive staff has been fired. They can "re-apply" for their old jobs, but the pay will be less. This is absurd. The club runs very well - why tamper with success?
SSGraham October 01, 2011 at 01:15 PM
Will the Sports Club LA contine to try to collect dues from its members, even though the four clubs it sold to equinox are no longer part of the organization? Moreover, n August or September the organization offered an opportunity for people to join the Los Angeles Club by only paying dues, although the club was sold. And I did not receive any notice of the sale via email or letter, although I have been a member for a long time. Have other people had the same experience??

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