The evolution of the fitness club continues in the Greater Lehigh Valley with a plan to open a high-end wellness center next summer that includes outdoor pools, waterslides, an indoor rock climbing wall and cafe.
Dr. Steven Mortazavi, medical director for Valley Pain Specialists in Bethlehem Township, wants to create the Valley Wellness Center modeled after upscale fitness centers found in the Philadelphia suburbs and other markets such as Lifetime Fitness and the Newtown Athletic Club.
He is hoping to gain final approval from the board of supervisors for Hanover Township, Northampton County, at its July meeting. If he gets it, construction should start in the next few months on vacant land in the township near Lehigh Valley International Airport.
Serfass Construction of North Whitehall Township is looking to break ground on the $14 million project at the end of the summer, said Kevin Serfass, vice president of Serfass Construction.
MKSD Architects of South Whitehall Township is designing the project, which is about 53,000 square feet, Serfass said.
Mortazavi owns the 14-acre property at 4145 Airport Road and is hoping to open in time for July 4 weekend next year. His goal is to hire about 35 to 40 employees.
“I’m a workout enthusiast and triathlete and trying to lead by example for my patients,” Mortazavi said. He discovered the property on his daily bike ride into work and thought about building a place that would help people stay healthy and pain free.
“I wanted to build something more than a gym … more of a lifestyle,” Mortazavi said.
He envisioned a country club-type atmosphere, minus the golf. He described it as a place where a member could work out but also grab a bite to eat at the café, get her hair done at the salon or get a manicure or pedicure.
Mortazavi also would like to offer medical services such as physical therapy and other services such as Botox treatments and laser hair removal.
The center would offer all types of indoor fitness activities and health and wellness services, including aquatics. Highlights include high-end workout areas, indoor and outdoor pools with waterslides, basketball and a full-service spa.
The outdoor pool will be 5,000 square feet and include a hot tub. Inside, there will be a four-lane lap pool and a therapy pool, he said. A loft on the second floor will offer space for additional cardio equipment. He is also looking to provide three multipurpose rooms which could be used for hosting children’s birthday parties and other events.
“This is something other places have done and they’ve been very successful,” Mortazavi said. “I think the demographic at Hanover Township is a good demographic that can support this type of facility.”