A Richie’s Gym on the Bushwick-Ridgewood border is closing due to unresolved building complaints and violations, Bushwick Daily has learned.
The Richie’s location, at 5419 Myrtle Ave. near the Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues stop on the L and M train, notified members that as of March 31, the gym will be shutting down temporarily.
“We are being guided by legal counsel that this action must be taken in order to meet new building codes. Due to new area changes in growth development/construction, we have received a notice and a violation that has to be quickly addressed in civil court,” said a statement posted around the gym.
“The closing of the gym will prevent any future harsh penalties and help us correct/address building concerns in a speedy manner.”
According to several complaints filed in the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB) database which date back to 2008, the Richie’s location doesn’t have a proper Certificate of Occupancy that would allow for a gym. City documents show that the third floor of the building, where the gym is located, is permitted for manufacturing purposes only — and has been since 1983. KC&V Realty LLC owns the building, which currently has 15 open building and construction violations respectively.
New York City requires a Place of Assembly Certificate of Operation for all premises where 75 or more members of the public gather indoors. In addition, gyms or other business where people go for exercise need a special permit from the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals.
Dance and yoga studios may be exempt from these regulations. Needless to say, Richie’s is not a yoga studio; and in September 2017, FDNY reported that the gym didn’t have one of those permits. Based on public records available, we were unable to find any evidence of that Richie’s ever having such a permit or certificate that would allow for a gym.
Members affected by this news can still go to the Richie’s at Stanwix Street and Bushwick Avenue where the remaining time on their membership will be doubled, according to the gym’s announcement.
Richie’s has been a no-frills bodybuilding gym since a Bushwick cop opened the original location in the mid-90s.
Cover image courtesy of Google Maps