Q: How do you choose the right size, equipment, and services for your fitness centers?

A: We look at the type of community that we are building—luxury, garden, or high-rise—and the size of the property. The resident profile also determines the kind of equipment and services that we offer. We constantly think about whether or not the fitness center helps us lease and if it used by residents. Right now, our residents prefer treadmills and elliptical machines versus stair-steppers, which were popular several years ago. We want to bring the luxuries of the large fitness chains to our residents' backyard; therefore, we are adding massage rooms as well as offering the services of personal trainers. For example, the 21-story Metropolitan at Reston Town Center, an upscale rental property in Reston, Va., that opened in December, features both amenities. And, because we want to keep our fitness facilities as up-to-date as possible, after the first few years we budget about $5,000 to $10,000 annually to replace equipment and to freshen the space, including flooring and paint.

Cindy Clare is president of KSI Management, a Centreville,Va.-based multifamily developer and owner.

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