Nito Boxing also plans to bring some Hawaiian flavor to the location at 261 California Ave., said Mark Fragoza, project development manager at Nito Boxing. The company, which currently operates two locations in Hawaii, plans to festoon the building next to Raw Smoke Shop with art celebrating Hawaii's surf culture, he said.
The grand plans belie the company's humble roots. Founded by Carlos Nito Tangaro, a boxing trainer whose career included a stint as a training partner to world champion Manny Pacquiao, the company began in a 10-foot by10-foot storage area in Hawaii, Fragoza said. Its space was largely limited to a boxing ring and its operation consisted of few trainers working with local kids.
As its earliest customers blossomed into professional fighters, the company attracted new customers, including local surfers and skateboarders looking to stay fit, he said. Nito Boxing opened two small gyms in Oahu: one in Waipahu in 2016 targeting competitive boxers and another in 2019 in Kahala catering to the casual fitness enthusiast.
Now, Nito Boxing is planning a huge mainland expansion with a goal of opening 100 gyms over the next five years. The Palo Alto gym, which would be far larger than the two Hawaii studios, would aim to serve as a blueprint for future gyms, Fragoza said.
"Palo Alto is really for our casual fitness enthusiast," Fragoza said. "You don't have to like boxing. We'll have everything from boxing, kickboxing, jujitsu, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) classes and Olympic lifting classes. It will cater to everybody."
In planning its expansion, Nito Boxing considered numerous locations, including Sunnyvale, Mountain View and San Francisco. It ultimately settled on Palo Alto because the city resonated with its brand and its values, Fragoza said. It seemed to be the most health-conscious, he said, and company staff appreciated the character of the California Avenue business district.
"After we toured all of them, it just kind of had a big-city-and-a-small-town vibe all built into one," Fragoza said.
Visitors will be able to drop in on classes or buy memberships, with monthly packages going for $200 for those just interested in taking classes, $250 for classes and use of gym equipment and $299 for classes, the gym and unlimited access to the recovery room.
The gym will take over the one-story that housed Amity CrossFit before that studio moved to the Barron Park neighborhood in 2019. Prior to that, the building housed the rental operation of Keeble & Shuchat Photography.
Nito Boxing would be within a block of two other fitness fixtures: Pure Barre and PerformanceGaines. It will also include a retail component: a line of athletic clothing from its partner, RVCA. According to its application to the city, this will be the first physical location to offer RVCA's full sports line.
Fragoza said Nito Boxing plans to open its studio in early January, with a grand opening planned for Jan. 7.
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