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Fitness chain expanding to Hingham

By Jessica Bartlett
Globe Correspondent / September 2, 2012
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Just four years after opening her first “barre” fitness studio on the South Shore, Jenny Anania is preparing to open her third Secret Physique location, this time in Hingham.

The lease for a studio in the South Shore Industrial Park has been signed and work has begun inside the space to get it ready for the class, which is a fitness fusion workout combining ballet, Pilates, and yoga.

But before doors can open in October, Anania must receive permission from both Hingham’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board to allow for a fitness operation in an industrially zoned space.

According to Zoning Administrator Sue Eddie, fitness studios are allowed under the zoning by special permit, which requires approval from both the zoning and planning boards.

“A couple years ago, health clubs and gyms weren’t allowed in the industrial zones, but the board got [several] requests,” Eddie said. “It prompted them to take a look at it and [in 2009] Town Meeting approved it for a special permit.”

Eddie said she expects the process for Secret Physique to go smoothly, mainly because there have been no objections raised by neighbors.

“The owners of the building have already started [construction], so I’m assuming they know it’s not a big deal,” Anania said.

The opening is a big step for Anania, who said her business is rapidly growing in the region.

Established in Hanover in 2008, Secret Physique moved to Pembroke after a year due to space constraints. In 2011, Anania opened a location in Quincy. “I lived in LA, where [barre] was growing. I was involved with barre out there and I thought this is the best thing ever,’’ Anania said.

Other chains offering a similar barre program are trying to enter the Hingham market, said Anania, who was competing for a space with one business before deciding on the industrial park.

“Hingham is a good location. It’s where I originally wanted to open. . . . I thought I’ll go a little south, a little north, and now it’s time to open [in Hingham]. I think others won’t be far behind me. It’s always nice to have other places because more people hear and talk about it. And there is enough to go around for sure,” Anania said.

Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett@gmail.com.

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