South Charlotte

Amenities at Sara’s YMCA in Ballantyne prove to be strong drawing card

YMCA members participate in a group exercise class in the mind and body studio.
YMCA members participate in a group exercise class in the mind and body studio.

At noon on a recent Friday, Sara’s YMCA was bustling with the lunchtime crowd.

Since opening Feb. 27 in Ballantyne Corporate Park, membership has been growing at Sara’s Y.

In February, the Y had about 1,600 members. Now, at least 2,200 people use the gym, said Michelle Miller, executive director of YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

“We feel like we’re being well-received in the community,” Miller said.

Sara’s Y serves adults (16 and older) in the corporate park and the surrounding community. More than 220 businesses operate in Ballantyne Corporate Park.

Because of its close proximity to the corporate park, Sara’s Y is convenient for office workers looking to sneak in a mid-day workout – without sacrificing their meal. The cafe in the lobby serves coffee, and offers healthy breakfast and lunch options.

A portrait of Sara Harris Bissell hangs next to the cafe. The Y is named for Bissell, who was known for her involvement in the community.

According to Miller, one of the most popular amenities at Sara’s Y is the mind and body studio.

The studio is used for group workout classes, like hot yoga, barre and pilates. The room has infrared heating panels (temperatures can reach 107 degrees), antibacterial floors and a built-in ballet barre.

“It really is an exceptional experience and it’s very unique to South Charlotte,” Miller said.

The gym also has a studio with TRX suspension training equipment, an outdoor fitness yard and a rooftop terrace for sunrise yoga and outdoor group classes.

“(The terrace) is spacious and open,” Miller said. “People can exercise outside, jump rope and take strength and conditioning classes.”

Sara’s Y is a high-tech, modern space. Members can easily sync the cardio and weight machines to their smart phones to keep track of their workouts and create playlists.

Members also can participate in Togetherhood, a volunteer program that identifies ways to give back to the community.

“There are a lot of different elements that are really unique to this Y,” Miller said. “People walk in and say, “Wow!”

Jane Little: Twitter: @janelittle26

More ways to use the Y

Sara’s Y also offers these amenities to nonmembers:

▪ Carolinas Rehabilitation office for physical therapy.

▪  Community room workspace.

▪ Cafe and sitting area in the lobby.

▪ Free wi-fi.