Local health club operator sold to Raleigh firm

East Shore Athletic Club has grown to 12 workout locations, including this one in Mount Pleasant. (Staff/File)

The new owner of East Shore Athletic Club’s 12 fitness centers in the Charleston area plans to beef up the facilities with a $1 million makeover.

Raleigh-based O2 Fitness announced Tuesday the firm acquired all the Charleston-based East Shore gyms. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The new owner has no immediate plans to change the name of the workout centers but will invest more than $1 million in construction and improvements during the next four months.

Upgrades include equipment, new carpeting, fresh paint and plasma televisions throughout the clubs, as well as an expanded line-up of programming, including more group exercise classes, new boot camps and functional training areas.

East Shore Athletic Club members also will receive two complimentary personal training sessions.

O2 Fitness did not say if gym dues would change. East Shore rates start at $29 a month for using one gym, but the rate is $49 a month for access to multiple locations.

“We are thrilled to welcome Charleston’s East Shore Athletic Club into the O2 Fitness family,” Michael D. Olander Jr., CEO of O2 and a College of Charleston graduate, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to serving the Charleston community and helping members reach and exceed their health and fitness goals. We believe in the potential of the Charleston market and look forward to continued growth there.”

East Shore Athletic Club management did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the sale.

“East Shore Athletic Club is a well-recognized and respected brand in Charleston and has been the recipient of numerous ‘best of’ awards and recognitions over the years. We look forward to building on this success,” Olander said.

O2 Fitness describes itself as the largest privately owned independent fitness operator in North Carolina. It was founded by Olander in 2002. It started with one gym in Raleigh that expanded to 12 locations also serving Cary, Chapel Hill, Fuquay-Varina and Wilmington.

Started in 1997, East Shore has grown over the years and changed ownership at least once before, in 2002. It now operates four locations in Mount Pleasant, two in West Ashley, and one each on Daniel Island and in Goose Creek, Hanahan, Moncks Corner, North Charleston and Summerville.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.