Pura Vida BJJ & MMA gym will soon move out of its Walker’s Point location to a new building the gym owner recently purchased near the Riverwest neighborhood.
The gym, currently located on the second floor of the building at 117 W. Walker St., will move across town after its owners acquired the single-story warehouse at 4125-4127 N. Richards St.
The building was purchased by an affiliate of the gym for $495,000, said Ryan Persitza, principal of Commercial Realty Advisors LLC, who brokered the deal. It was constructed in 1954 and has an assessed value of roughly $325,000, according to city records.
Pura Vida owner Zak Ottow said the new location nearly doubles the size of the existing gym space, going from about 4,000 square feet to roughly 7,500 square feet. The building also presented the opportunity for the gym to own its own space, he added.
“We had capital to invest in something more long term instead of paying (rent),” he said.
Pura Vida offers classes such as Muay Thai (beginner and advanced levels), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (also beginner and advanced levels), mixed martial arts wrestling, kids martial arts, strength and conditioning and weight training.
Work to be done to the building, which had most recently be used for bus storage, includes insulating and painting of the walls, installing a new heater, setting up lockers and putting in new mats and strength and conditioning equipment, such as treadmills and rowing machines.
Ottow said the gym will be open at its new location by Jan. 1.
The expanded area gives the gym — and gym-goers — much more breathing room. Ottow said Pura Vida has to cram into its existing location, which means the locker room is actually part of a hallway leading from one area to another. Also, certain equipment can’t be used while classes are going on because of the limited floor space.
“Membership is up and classes are like shoulder-to-shoulder,” he said.
The gym’s new location will also benefit a large customer base of Pura Vida’s: Students attending UW-Milwaukee. The gym’s new location will be about two miles away from the UWM campus, as opposed to a roughly five-mile trip that takes students through downtown.
Ottow said Pura Vida offers university students a variety of classes. But, now that the gym will be closer to the school, he will be able to hold more of these classes at the gym itself rather than on campus. In fact, new classes offered to students by Pura Vida for the new semester beginning January already list the gym’s new location.