Message from the CEO: Update on our Gyms

I will never forget the feeling I had when I walked into our first Magee-designed location on 134 West 25th Street, the Gym that would become known as HQ. It was a mixture of excitement, pride, and fear. Would people come to the Gym? Would they love the Gym? Would we be able to pay our rent?

The answer to all of those questions for the next two years was a resounding “Yes!” People came and enjoyed it so much that we needed to expand to another floor in our building, and we started scouting the expansion outside of New York. Our goal was always to have Gyms across the country and in the first two months of 2020, we signed three new leases (Brooklyn, DC, and LA). 

When the pandemic took the international stage in March of 2020, we assumed, like so many people, that the quarantine would be temporary and in two weeks we would all be back in the Gyms. The reality of the last two years is that only 18 clients have asked to utilize any of our four Gym locations, our employees have moved across the world, our clients have moved across the world; and when the Omicron variant hit late last year, we knew we couldn’t hold onto the locations any longer. 

In the first three months of this year, we began the process of negotiating with our landlords, arranged buyout terms, and secured funding to execute the buyouts. I have been on this journey for nine years now, and I have experienced tremendous highs and lows, but nothing has felt lower than what we’ve had to go through during this time. 

On February 10, 2022, armed with my boyfriend and a U-Haul truck, we were forced to quickly clear out HQ and officially end the journey that started almost exactly four years earlier. After the chaos of cleaning the space, securing what we needed to, and loading the van, I sat alone in one of my favorite spots of the Gym and cried. I cried many tears through so many emotions. 

Message from the CEO: Update on our Gyms is written by Shannon McLay, Founder and CEO for

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