Miami is about to welcome one of the world’s most cutting-edge fitness facilities.
“City Zero” is the brainchild of renown Colombian fitness guru-turned-developer Beto Perez.
Perez became a global force in the international fitness industry after founding Zumba Fitness in 1998, which grew into a now-ubiquitous multinational brand thanks to its popular blend of intensive dance and fitness regimens.
Perez brought this same energy into City Zero. Extending far beyond a mere gym, City Zero, located at 591 SW Eighth St., is a sprawling fitness center that spans four floors and an open-air rooftop to offer an unprecedented range of space and equipment catering to a fitness lifestyle. The first floor includes a retail store, juice bar and full floor stage complete with a digital screen wall as well as studio sound and lighting for interactive dance and fitness courses.
The second, third, and fourth floors offer a range of the latest state-of-the-art gym equipment as well as personal training space. Topping off the experience, the partially exposed rooftop is designed for multi-use outdoor activities such as yoga, cycling, and special events. The entire complex also incorporates sleek use of glass to bring in natural light — and the impressive view of the Downtown Miami skyline, which is even more breathtaking from the rooftop.
To realize his vision of bringing a world-class fitness center to Miami, Perez selected prominent Coral Gables firm Permuy Architecture. The architecture firm has become associated with high-profile international and design-forward projects such as glass industrialist Sam Moussa’s Aqua Azure estate, Turkish design label ENNE’s flagship US store in the Miami Design District, and the iconic Aventura Mall Slide Tower collaboration with German artist Carsten Höller.
Speaking about the design and significance of City Zero, firm president Ignacio Permuy said, “We have several decent gyms in South Florida and a few very nice ones. But what Beto has done here is bring in a totally different class of fitness center. It is unprecedented and visionary — no one has this anywhere else in the U.S.
“My team made sure the design communicates its uniqueness and captures the invigorating power of dance and fitness to not only improve wellness, but also to bring people together, which is especially important these days and going forward.”
Permuy added, “It was important for us to make sure this project was suited to its surrounding community. We immediately knew City Zero would become a social hub and economic anchor for Eighth Street and the Little Havana community. That’s why it looks to the future while still embracing the Latin cultural vibrancy of the area. It will also cement the Little Havana Renaissance we’ve seen unfolding.”
This is not the Permuy family’s first inroad into Little Havana. In the 1980s, firm principal and Cuban community leader Jesús Permuy, a former city planning official, was appointed to chair the City of Miami’s East Little Havana Task Force to study the then-current Mariel Crisis and present recommendations to address its socioeconomic ramifications. Permuy’s leadership used urban planning principals to facilitate greater stability in the area.
Despite the excitement surrounding the innovative new center, the architecture team acknowledges the seriousness of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on City Zero’s design and rollout. In line with the project’s emphasis on health and wellness, Ignacio Permuy explained that City Zero has strongly incorporated a series of public health features for the pandemic.
He illustrated how the project rigorously follows COVID safety guidelines, including spacious floor plans on each level to easily allow for social distancing throughout the facility. Additionally, Permuy pointed out that the personal training areas are designed with a segmented layout to provide training privacy as well as mitigate the forming of crowds.
The first floor features double height ceilings equipped with air filtration for safer circulation and the open-air rooftop also provides more options for socially distanced outdoor activities, which will be limited to small groupings. City Zero also will be offering fitness and dance classes equipped with online streaming for remote participation.
Permuy credits the realization of this ambitious concept to the close sense of cooperation between the various teams involved.
“Everyone has done their job well. From the construction team, the interior designers, the engineers, Beto’s representation, and of course Beto himself — everything has been positive, seamless, and focused on the big picture.”
“It’s been an excellent experience, and it shows in the results” Permuy concluded.
City Zero Miami is set to launch within the first quarter of 2021.