You may have heard about The Battery — the new development in downtown Birmingham on 2nd Avenue South. It’s only one block from The Rotary Trail and within walking distance from popular hotspots like Workplay and Iron City Bham. The Battery has signed on quite a few tenants so far, including a brewery and multiple restaurants. And there’s even more to come. The only one that is open now is True40.
True40 is a boutique fitness studio focusing on high-intensity, low-impact, core-intensive workouts. The workout style was created a few years ago by founder Allie Weingarten in Auburn, from which she graduated with a degree in Exercise Science.
Ask The Audience
In an effort to create the best workout she could, Weingarten asked friends, family and anyone else she could about their workouts. What did they love? What did they hate? What were they missing?
Based on the feedback, she created True40. The workout makes use of TRX bands, dumbbells, medicine balls and ballet bars to give you a full-body, low-impact workout. The workouts are 1 hour long and they’re never exactly the same, so you are getting a different workout each time. The workouts are great for both men and women, but they are geared primarily towards women. True40’s first location was in Auburn, followed by one in Tuscaloosa, then their first Birmingham location, over in Cahaba Heights. They also have a studio opening soon in Atlanta.
Location, Location, Location
Kaitlyn Bentley is the owner of the downtown studio and is thrilled to offer a workout option for downtown residents. We discussed that while there are many restaurant and brewery choices, downtown has been missing some of day-to-day staples like grocery stores and gyms. As Birmingham continues to undergo its revitalization, it’s important to give residents more options in their backyard to draw more people into the Magic City.
Taylor Grater, studio manager at True40 downtown, lives in the downtown area and she also noted how important it was to have a place like True40 downtown: “It’s really exciting to see all of 2nd Avenue getting revitalized. This is my home, so it’s so nice to have businesses downtown that really do make this feel like home. I now can work, play and live downtown.” – Grater
What Can You Expect In A Class?
“We’re high-intensity, but we’re low-impact. So it’s safe for all fitness levels, ages, and body types, but you’re still getting a good sweat in. It’s a lot of core strength. We combine some exercises you might see in a traditional barre class with exercises using TRX straps. We also focus on core strength, and incorporate dynamic movements and aerobics to boost the heart rate.”– Bentley
Alright, so if you couldn’t process all that, it’s okay! Thank goodness the pros are there to coach us through it all. And they’re able to pack it all into a quick 60-minute class for the sake of our time. They are also thinking about incorporating express classes into the lunchtime lineup for those who work downtown. This would allow for them to come over and get a quick workout in on their lunch break. And even better — when the other Battery tenants open, they can workout and grab lunch before heading back to the office.
In addition to everything the instructors offer, the studio also has showers and a fully-equipped bathroom for those who need to get dressed for work or otherwise. The lobby features a fridge full of kombucha, waters, and protein bars as well as a small selection of high-quality activewear from brands like Alo Yoga. Most importantly, True40 offers childcare for all the busy moms out there who just want to get a workout in. When you look at their class schedule, you’ll see options to sign up for childcare. Each instructor is CPR certified with childcare experience, so you can rest assured knowing your child is in good hands. The childcare center takes up to 5 children ages 0-10.
This is a win for both The Battery and for the downtown Birmingham community. Kaitlyn and Taylor told me that some of their clients walk to class from their homes or offices every day. The accessibility is key. Not only is the location fantastic, The Battery even has a parking lot. Yep, you read that correctly. A parking lot! Get there in time for a parking space and you won’t have to struggle with street parking.
What’s It Like To Be A Tenant At The Battery?
I asked the ladies of True40 what it was like to be a tenant at The Battery. Of course they gushed about all the new businesses coming in and told me how excited they were about the beautiful studio they had, but one thing that stood out was the way they talked about Ward Neely. Neely is the developer who had the vision for The Battery and the main man bringing it to life.
“He really cares about us as people, and not just as a business. I think his vision for The Battery has been the single driving force and it’s what Birmingham needs. I think his ability to see that is really cool.”– Bentley
Oh, and rumor has it that Mrs. Neely works out at True40 and brings their child to the childcare center! Talk about community.
Slated to open in The Battery next is… drumroll please… Birmingham District Brews! Birmingham is getting another brewery and it will be the second tenant to open in Ward Neely’s development. We’re not sure who will be opening after the brewery, but you can expect a Wasabi Juan’s location, some fried chicken from Gus’s and even a health and wellness shop. Stay tuned!