The city of Westlake missed out on having Cleveland's only west side location of Pure Barre after the owner, resident Lori Standen, found it quicker to open a location just west in Avon.
Standen was hoping to open a Pure Barre location in The Promenade, but the location did not support a permitted use for what is considered a gym. Pure Barre locations generally hold classes up to 25 in size.
"The owner came in for a sign," Westlake Planning Director Bob Parry said. "That's not a permitted use. The owner made an application to add the use to the shopping center."
Westlake approved Standen's request at its March meeting, but by then it was too late. Standen opened the location on Detroit Road in Avon. Stark Enterprises, who handles leasing for The Promenade, learned of the approval soon after.
"Stark contacted me two weeks ago to let me know the City of Westlake finally changed their zoning for the Promenade," Standen said. "I was trying to work with the City of Westlake back in September and October to get zoning approved for my studio, but I was not successful. I had originally planned to open in December, but due the zoning and permitting issues I was not able to open in the Promenade or find a location in the City of Westlake for the studio."
Standen opened the Avon location in February.
Standen who graduated from Avon Lake High School said her studio serves the entire area. The former head high school cheerleader earned a degree from Miami University (Ohio), before launching into a career as a pharmaceutical representative.
Before leaving Florida to return to the Cleveland area, she began taking classes at Pure Barre in Sarasota. Soon after, Standen was teaching the class.
“I took it for about six months, and then taught for six months,” Standen, a natural athlete who began dancing at age 4, and played soccer, basketball, softball and golf growing up, said.
The studio is located in the Drug Mart plaza in Avon, on the corner of Lear Road and Detroit.
Pure Barre is a technique that incorporates moves—many which include a ballet barre—and aerobic moves into a workout.
Using small isometric movements at the ballet barre set to motivating music, Pure Barre claims to “lift your seat, tones your thighs, abs and arms and burns fat in record breaking time.”
“Everyone works at their own pace,” Standen said, noting that the class age ranges from 18 (a minimum requirement) to clients who are well into their sixties. A class can have up to 22 people in it.
The concept is popular. After prospective clients found themselves waitlisted, Standen added 6 more classes last week to bring the total number to 37 classes per week.
Including Standen, the Avon Pure Barre location has seven instructors who start classes as early as 5:30 a.m. She just added an 8:15 p.m. class.
“Everyone works at his or her own pace,” she said. “It’s important that everyone who joins feels comfortable.”
The low-impact technique is popular for strengthening, weight loss and general physical improvement. It is also safe for pregnancy and post-pregnancy, including one workout that helps tighten abs after a C-section. Standen has been working with the Cleveland Clinic's OB/GYN group to help patients before, during and after pregnancy.
She also works with a physician from Tri-City Medical who refers patients recovering from injury and in need of health living and exercise options.
Class times depend on day. Click here for a complete schedule.