The long-shuttered Cossaboom Family YMCA building in southeast Houston will get new life as Houston’s first World Gym International in early 2021.
It will be the second World Gym franchise for Jerome Karam, who also operates the Texas City franchise about 30 miles southeast of Houston, according to World Gym International.
The 40,000-square-foot facility will be owned by Karam and his son Jacob Karam, a local attorney. World Gym Houston will begin selling memberships later this year.
Jerome Karam purchased the 1950s era Cossaboom Family YMCA in 2018 with plans to turn it into a gym under a different brand. The building is inside Loop 610 near the Gulf Freeway at 7903 South Loop East.
“Jacob, my son, first introduced me to World Gym when he was an all-state quarterback. He was a fan of all the iconic athletes that trained there. I love being part of World Gym’s legacy, which helped to create the entire modern fitness industry,” Karam said in an announcement. “With all the great amenities and services planned for World Gym Houston, our members are going to have so much fun getting in the best shape of their lives.”
Headquartered in Southern California, World Gym was founded in 1976 by Joe Gold during the glory days of “Muscle Beach” in Santa Monica, Calif. The chain has grown to more than 200 mostly franchised locations globally.
World Gym Houston will span five floors with all new equipment and amenities. With a staff of more than 40 certified coaches, personal trainers and group exercise instructors, the gym will offer strength training and cardio equipment, functional fitness equipment, locker rooms, hydromassage, sauna, a yoga studio, cycling studio, pro-shop, kids club, personal training, nutrition coaching and more.
The gym will hold group classes such as cycling, yoga and body pump. The facility will offer World Gym Athletics training programs, which blend high-intensity interval training programming, barbell focused strength training and Olympic Lifting.