Gaston & Catawba

Conover Station adds new business

The Perfect Workout of Newton is building a new fitness center at Conover Station.

The fitness center’s relocation is part of the city’s efforts to recruit businesses to Conover Station, a renovated area adjacent to downtown that once housed factory buildings.

When the fitness center opens next year, only 7 acres will be left for development at Conover Station. The 27-acre site, which was once the home of a Broyhill Furniture plant and a Warlong Glove building, has been renovated by the city to include two eye-catching buildings and a city park.

The site is zoned for mixed used so the remaining space could be used for retail, commercial or light industrial development and downtown housing, or a mix of those things, said City Manager Donald Duncan Jr.

The new 38,000-square-foot building being constructed on the northern section of Conover Station will include 30,000 square feet for the fitness center. Owners Sharon and Amir Rashidi of Newton plan to lease the remaining 8,000 square feet for retail use.

The couple would like to see a restaurant in the space, according to Sharon Rashidi. The fitness center is scheduled to open next summer, she said.

The architecture of the two-story fitness center will complement that of the other two buildings at Conover Station. The Warlong Glove building was restored to its original architectural design and now houses a library, meeting space and space for a railroad depot for future passenger rail service.

The other building on the campus, which was built in similar architectural style, houses the Manufacturing Solutions Center. The center works with U.S. manufacturers nationally to help create and retain jobs by increasing sales, improving manufacturing efficiency and improving product quality. A city park occupies 6 acres of the property.

The city partnered with the Rashidis to develop the property. The city reinvested the money from the sale of the property to the Rashidis into developing the site with a new road, water and sewer and 70 parking spaces, according to Duncan. Sixty-three of the parking spaces will be for public use.

The Total Workout fitness center will feature an indoor walking track as well as a cardio feeder room, a yoga room, a spin cycle room and a functional training area.

Locker rooms will include dry saunas. There will be a juice bar and child-watch room. The Rashidis, who have owed The Total Workout in Newton for six years, will close that center after the Conover facility opens.