Milford OKs boutique health club that will cater to an ‘affluent’ climate

MILFORD >> The Planning and Zoning Board has approved a special exception and site plan review for Orangetheory Fitness, a franchise boutique health club to open in Milford Marketplace shopping center in a unit adjacent to the Whole Foods market.

An owner, Joe Miller of Stamford, told the PZB that Orangetheory Fitness is a “premium brand,” with an “affluent” climate.

“My goal is to be part of the fabric of this community,” Miller said.

In a follow-up email, Miller said he and a partner have signed an agreement to open four centers in Connecticut, and Milford will be the first.

The board unanimously approved the application with no discussion or controversy.

How it works

John Knuff, attorney for the new franchise owners, told PZB members the model is different than most other “health clubs.”

Members sign up for specific classes, which are 60 minutes and limited to 12 people, so there would never be more than 24 clients in the 4,000-square-foot space at one time.

Knuff said most classes are early morning before the stores open in the shopping center and later in the afternoon when retail is typically slower.

Knuff submitted a petition and letters from retailers at other Orangetheory Fitness locations that spoke of how clients typically provide business for retailers nearby and parking has never been a problem.

The Orangetheory Fitness website, which shows hundreds of franchises worldwide, includes several in Connecticut, the closest at 704 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton.

Others are in Fairfield, Danbury, West Hartford, Westport and Norwalk.

The Theory

The website describes the fitness approach as “a one-of-a-kind workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training, using a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX bands and free weights to tone your body and gain energy.”

Each session is led by a trainer, it says, who gives individual attention to make sure clients are pushing themselves.