One of the most exciting parts of the revitalization of the Westside has been the growth of fitness center options. Just a few years ago, it seemed that all that was around was the YMCA or LA Fitness.
Now, our neighborhood seems to have it all with more moving in. From the popular Westside Yoga and long-standing Scott King Fitness just north of interstate, to new fads like Pure Barre in the heart of West Midtown, we can expect more options to move in as old commercial buildings are transformed into beautiful spaces to live, work and play.
Recently I had a chance to chat with a couple of these folks—Amber Barry, founder of Westside Yoga and Scott King, founder of Scott King Fitness—and learn more about them and hear their inspiring stories about what it’s been like for them to be a part of the rebirth and the encouraging changes they’ve seen in the neighborhood. Amber’s business is just celebrating its one-year anniversary, whereas Scott King is a neighborhood veteran, having opened his studio in 1997.
Amber, a 24-year resident of the Atlanta area, moved to the Westside in 2008. Once the last of her three young children went off to preschool she opened Westside Yoga in her basement studio initially and began to grow the business there. Eventually she needed to move out of the basement but she had always dreamed of staying in the community so she could continue to serve the students that had helped her build her practice.
While dropping off the kids one morning she spied a possible location. She parked the car and knocked on the door, which led to meeting Tim Nguyen, MD the owner of the building and the wellness center located there. He had actually wanted a yoga studio in the building to complement his practice, “so it was a great opportunity for everyone involved,” Amber told me.
Since the opening of Westside Yoga last September 2015, Amber and Dr. Nguyen have integrated their practices, offering a one-stop shop for wellness and health care, by opening Atlanta Integrative Medical Center together. It’s been a great addition to our neighborhood! Check out class schedules online at WestsideYoga.net.
Scott King Circuit Fitness
Scott King moved his fitness studio into the Westside back in 1997 so as you can imagine he’s seen lots of changes; and he’s got the stories and scars to prove it (he was shot in the hand during a failed armed robbery attempt in 2013). “It was not easy at first,” says King, but he kept working at it and as the years went by he grew his business and has built a core following of clients that have been with him through the years. “When I started I was just a young man,” the now 56-year old told me with a chuckle.
He’s watched as older homes from around the neighborhood that had fallen into disrepair have been snapped up and remodeled or torn down with new homes and business built in their place. King says the revitalization has been great for the neighborhood and the property values, but “the traffic has become so bad.” He’s not kidding! Nevertheless, he likes where he is, the client base he’s built there, and has no plans to move anywhere else. Check out Scott’s website at PowerCircuitFitness.com
Both Scott and Amber are such great examples of what’s making our area such a prime location for families to raise children and small businesses to grow. Be sure to stop in and visit them after grabbing a piece of pizza at Fellini’s (I kid!). And if you are interested in buying a home in the area, let me know, I’d love to discuss your options.