9Round to Open Grand Ridge Plaza Fitness Center

9Round Fitness Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge Plaza

9Round Fitness Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge Plaza9Round is coming to Grand Ridge Plaza! Issaquah High School alum Truong Luu is behind the initiative to bring the fitness center that combines boxing and kickboxing circuit training to the community. Owning a fitness franchise is a long-held dream for Luu, dating back to high school and his days on the wrestling team.

“Working in the fitness industry has always been a goal of mine, and I’ve researched locations and fitness franchises for several years,” said Luu. “I knew it would be a great fit for Issaquah. The boxing aspect of 9Round is energizing and fun, and combines aspects of various martial arts with boxing and kickboxing. It’s great for relieving stress and burning calories, and it gives you that feel-good post-workout feeling.”

Luu, who is partnering with wife Effie on the business venture, is a U.S. Army Veteran. He served in a9Round Fitness Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge Plaza Quartermaster Battalion before getting out as a Sergeant in 2007. After completing his degree in business management and finance at the University of Washington, he pursued a real estate career as mortgage advisor for companies including Absolute Mortgage, RPM Mortgage, Inc., and Tila Mortgage.

With a love of martial arts and wrestling, Luu understands the benefits of the 9Round workout. He also feels that 9Round is well-suited for today’s busy lifestyle. “The 30-minute circuit workout format was developed around a system of nine challenging workout stations,” he explained. “You can start your workout at any time; there are no reservations or class times. A qualified trainer will wrap your hands for support when punching – and then your workout begins. Every three minutes, you move to the next exercise station where the trainer will show you how to do each exercise based on your fitness level. There’s no chance of boredom, and it goes by amazingly fast.”

9Round Issaquah Highlands Grand Ridge PlazaPermitting is currently underway for the new 9Round fitness center, which is located in the former SUBWAY space on Park Drive. Interior construction could begin as early as November, with 9Round opening its doors in time for everyone’s New Year’s resolutions.

Stay tuned for more information about grand opening specials. To learn more, visit 9Round.com.

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC


Grand Ridge Plaza Expansion to Welcome Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza

Orangetheory Fitness Issaquah Grand Ridge PlazaGrand Ridge Plaza is growing: Construction crews recently broke ground on a 5,325-square-foot building at the corner of NE High Street and 9th Avenue NE, representing the final phase of the shopping center. Two new merchants will open in the space in 2018, including popular gym Orangetheory Fitness. The second new merchant will be announced shortly.

Known for its intensive one-hour workout sessions, Orangetheory has 12 treadmills, 12 rowing machines, 12 suspension unit systems and plenty of free weights and benches for classes of 10 to 25 people. It offers one-hour group workout sessions led by personal coaches—and the first class is free. Orangetheory’s Grand Ridge Plaza studio will be similar to its Mercer Island and Bellevue locations, offering up to 10 sessions per day.

Designed by GBD Architects, Grand Ridge Plaza’s newest building will reflect the existing visual architectural character of the shopping center and surrounding community of Issaquah Highlands. It will share bicycle and car parking with BevMo!, which is located on the same block, and will feature many of the beautiful plants and trees that complement the area. Currently, crews are completing groundwork at the site, preparing sub-surfaces for the start of vertical construction this winter.

Check back for regular updates on the blog as construction progresses and Grand Ridge Plaza welcomes new merchants.

Regency Centers Grand Ridge PlazaIn keeping with its green building commitment, Grand Ridge Plaza will use energy efficient materials (Solarban 70 XL glazing, insulated walls and TPO roofing) as well as deep awnings and canopies for construction. In 2015, the 325,640-square-foot shopping center achieved both LEED ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development) and LEED Silver recognition for its efforts to incorporate sustainable design into design and development. Sustainable practices throughout the center include energy efficiency, water conservation, recycled and locally sourced materials, healthier indoor air quality and stormwater mitigation.



From Student to Teacher at barre3

barre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza

barre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge PlazaDuring barre3’s grand opening week in 2011, a now familiar face took her first class. Elizabeth Gardiner stepped into the Grand Ridge Plaza studio and instantly connected with barre3’s workout ethic. It’s a connection that inspired her to take daily classes, and to become the studio manager in 2013. Today, you’ll find Elizabeth teaching classes—something she never thought she had the courage to do.

Founded in Portland, barre3 is a one-hour workout inspired by ballet barre, yoga, and Pilates. It’s a flexible combination that immediately appealed to Gardiner. “What separates barre3 from other workouts is its multi-level aspect; a student who is new to classes will enjoy the same benefits as someone who takes three classes a week,” she explained. “Routines are adapted to individuals, it’s safe for all ages, and you can see and feel the results. barre3 tones and lengthens major muscle groups, revs your heart rate, and strengthens your body.”

While Gardiner was eager to take classes, she shied away from becoming a certified barre3 instructor. It took five years for her to overcome her initial shyness and consider the possibility of teaching.

“I loved classes so much and was invited to audition to become an instructor, but I was anxious about leading a group,” said Gardiner. “Then, my daughter asked me why I was afraid and it made me question my own confidence—maybe because I’m a perfectionist. After some soul searching, I took a chance and auditioned.”

Gardiner’s certified barre3 instructor training began with three days in Portland. Then, she progressed to teaching classes for friends and family, plus a series of free community classes.

To complete the process, she filmed a class for review by the corporate office. She was soon on her way tobarre3 Issaquah Grand Ridge Plaza teaching up to eight classes per week. “Being a barre3 instructor is an awesome, fulfilling job and I’m so happy I make the decision to pursue teaching,” said Gardiner.

barre3 encourages newcomers to try a class, emphasizing that it’s not intimidating. In fact, the studio’s strong sense of community is a reason why people become regulars. Routines are constantly evolving, which keeps instructors like Gardiner on her toes. Classes change to keep the body and mind engaged with the same intensity.

“For anyone who’s hesitating about trying barre3, I encourage them to take a chance—like I did,” concluded Gardiner. “You may fall in love with a whole new fitness routine, and you’ll certainly love the results.”

About barre3 Grand Ridge Plaza
barre3 is located at 1091 NE High Street, next to Sip at the wine bar & restaurant. Visit barre3.com to learn more or call 425-391-1192. The studio offers a new student package including three one-hour classes for $40. Each barre3 studio is independently operated by local owners, employing a team of instructors and offering up to 50 classes per week. Grand Ridge Plaza studio owners Heather Kass and Anna McEvers also teach classes.

Photo credit: Shubha Tirumale Photography LLC