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On January 10, 2022, Life Time’s 161st athletic resort destination — Life Time River North at One Chicago — opened in Chicago’s downtown, filling a niche in that area.

“We’re two streets over from the Magnificent Mile, the main shopping and entertainment district in Chicago,” says Jason Hammers, general manager at Life Time River North at One Chicago. “While there’s lots of high-end shopping and great restaurants here, there wasn’t an elevated health club of this kind in this market until now.”

Life Time River North sits on the corner of West Chicago Avenue and North State Street and is located inside the premier One Chicago residential building. It offers convenience for surrounding area residents, as well as impeccable skyline and Lake Michigan views from within its spaces.

Every square foot was intentionally designed. “We looked at the architecture of the One Chicago building as we started this design process,” says Krista Rochat-Boeser, interior studio lead for special projects in architecture and design at Life Time. “It’s one of the tallest skyscrapers in the downtown area and the exterior of the building is really beautiful. We made a deliberate effort to align the interior with the exterior, and we wanted the spaces to flow aesthetically and easily. For example, we took inspiration from the metal on the outside of the building, bringing that detail to the interior in a way that’s really stunning. Members will feel the elevation of this experience as they walk throughout the entire space.”

In addition to its beautiful interior and stunning finishes, this Life Time resort offers numerous notable features and amenities across its 126,000-square-feet of space. Explore Life Time River North at One Chicago:

Two rows of elliptical machines inside Life Time River North.

There are seven dedicated boutique studio spaces for yoga, indoor cycling, Pilates, barre, cardio, and studio classes. The expansive workout floor features all the fitness equipment you’ll need, including state-of-the-art cardio and strength machines, free weights, and functional-training tools.

“Our architects put a lot of time into the design of the workout floor and how it would absorb not only the impact of weights dropping on it, but the sound as well,” says Hammers. “The floor doesn’t connect to the columns so you can’t feel the vibrations of the weights. There are also five layers of different insulation and absorption materials so we’re good neighbors to everyone in the building.”

Athletes can also engage in some friendly competition on the regulation-sized basketball court.

The pool at Life Time River North.

“There are definitely a lot of ‘wow’ factors contained in this new club opening, but if one stands out, I would say it’s the indoor lap pool,” says Gary Callin, senior project manager of architecture at Life Time. “There’s a huge sky light over it, and two operable glass walls that open up to the rooftop outdoor leisure pool and pool deck. It’s really a stunning space.”

The locker rooms at Life Time River North.

Members can refresh after their sweat session of choice by embracing the amenities available in the private and secure locker rooms, including beautifully designed dressing areas, premium toiletries, terrycloth towels, showers, eucalyptus steam room, cedarwood sauna, and whirlpool.

LT Recovery at River North.

Whether you’re rehabbing from an injury or looking to incorporate proper recovery into your routine so you can reach your highest potential, LT Recovery offers expert direction, care, and support, and access to high-tech and effective recovery equipment. Options include compression recovery tools, metabolic testing, recovery treatments, nutrition counseling, and chiropractic services.

For pampering, our highly trained LifeSpa stylists and estheticians provide a variety of services, such as massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and hair and skin treatments.

A bar inside Life Time River North.

When you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy the healthy food and beverage options from multiple dining destinations: Swing by the LifeCafe for bowls, salads, and shakes; grab an espresso from the coffee bar; or sit down for sushi and drinks at those designated bars.

Prefer to dine poolside? You can enjoy a refreshing beverage or meal on the pool deck, too.

Unique to this location are one-of-a-kind menu options that offer healthier twists on some of Chicago’s favorite foods — think the River North Hot Italian Beef with slow-roasted beef and housemade giardiniera, and the Chicago “Style” Deep Dish with spicy marinara, spinach, garlic, and mozzarella on rosemary and sea salt focaccia.

Kids Academy at Life Time River North

The entire family is kept in mind when it comes to the Life Time experience. Drop off the kiddos at the Kids Academy for play time, homework help, Kids Studio Classes, sports training opportunities with GameFace Sport, or other healthy and active fun while you use other areas of the club.

Meet the Team

Hammers devoted time and effort to make sure the right group of team members were assembled and ready to serve and support members at this new club destination.

“That was my biggest task,” says Hammers, “making sure we found the best people in Chicago to deliver the best experiences for our members.”

Get to know a few of them:

Emma Graves, Studio Performer and Small Group Coach

Emma Graves

How did you get started with Life Time?

My very first job when I turned 16 years old was with Life Time. I started in the Kids Academy at the Chanhassen, Minn., location. I loved how much the company aligned with my values of living a healthy way of life.

Charmel Heltsley, who was the studio manager at the time, invited me to join her Warrior Sculpt class, and it was love at first downward dog. I quickly became obsessed with group fitness in all its forms — it reminded me of the support and energy I received from my sports teams at the time. After training for a few months, I became the first high-school-aged instructor at Life Time nationwide.

In 2019, I interned in the corporate office with the public relations and internal communications team. The more I learned about Life Time, the more I appreciated how much the company takes care of its team members — I knew I’d be back one day!

I feel such a strong connection to Life Time because it feels like we’ve grown up together. When I left for college, I stayed employed and taught any chance I had when I came home. Over the past six years, I’ve changed, grown, and improved. It’s amazing to see that Life Time has as well!

What brought you to Life Time River North at One Chicago?

I am working as a performer at the club, teaching many classes each week across studio, cycle, and signature group training. When I first heard the River North location was opening, I knew I had to be part of it. It’s really special to be part of the founding team at any Life Time, and even more so for a flagship location. I’m excited for all the opportunities before us in expanding our Chicago presence!

What’s so amazing about River North is, as incredible as the space is, the team members and hospitality are even better. The team here is full of community-driven, hardworking, intelligent, and kind individuals. We work hard to ensure everybody who walks through Life Time’s doors has an amazing experience.

What’s your connection to Life Time’s healthy way of life mission?

I value prioritizing oneself and your body’s needs. There are many aspects that go into living a healthy way of life, and my personal mission and contribution to that lifestyle is to help create joy in movement for all bodies.

When I focus on my own health and wellness, I am happier and higher functioning, and am able to give more of myself to others. I want that for everyone else, too!

Cody Herman, LifeCafe Senior Manager

Cody Herman

How did you get started with Life Time?

I started with Life Time in October 2021, when I accepted the senior food and beverage leader role for River North. Previously, I was the food and beverage manager for The Ritz-Carlton in Chicago and have 14 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry.

What brought you to Life Time River North at One Chicago?

The interview process immediately set the tone for the culture I would experience at Life Time — I knew from the start this is where I wanted to be. I felt I could learn a lot from Jason Hammers, and working at this iconic location was the icing on the cake.

At River North, we are creating an amplified and unique experience for members. For the food and beverage department, that means crafting a one-of-a-kind menu that features healthy twists on Chicago staples such as deep-dish pizza, hot Italian beef sandwiches, and, of course, the Chicago hot dog, along with other new items the LifeCafe menu has never seen.

We’re partnering with local vendors to help create that Chicago food story. We also have an amazing sushi chef and two full-service bars with experienced mixologists to execute a craft-style cocktail menu.

What’s your connection to Life Time’s healthy way of life mission?

For me, a healthy way of life is all encompassing. I work out regularly and love to stay active with a combination of strength training, running, and yoga. I also recently took my first cycling class at Life Time and I’m hooked!

This is my “me” time and it really allows me to step away from the stresses of life and reset my mind to gear up for whatever comes next. I also maintain a vegan diet and try to eat as clean as possible. All of this combined keeps me in a positive mental state and gives me clarity to focus on what’s important in life.

Kia Williams, Studio Manager

Kia Williams

How did you get started with Life Time?

I’m new to the Life Time family this year. I’ve worked full-time in the fitness industry for the past 12 years, with my career having taken me all over the country. It’s wonderful to be with Life Time in Chicago.

What brought you to Life Time River North at One Chicago?

It’s more like River North chose me. It’s an amazing location with personality and energy that really fits with mine. We’re a nice match made in fitness and wellness heaven.

All our team members in every area are invested in consistently delivering the best, most impactful and memorable experiences for our members. They go above and beyond in all they do for each other and for our members. And our studio, cycle, and yoga performers are showstoppers! Their classes are like Broadway performances, epic movies, concerts, symphonies — they’re just enamoring. You don’t want to miss a single second of the experience.

What’s your connection to Life Time’s healthy way of life mission?

My career mission is to support people who are affected by marginalization in jobs, education, health care, and lack of representation in the fitness industry. Overall, I’m committed to helping others live a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a strong, fit, and balanced mind and body. This is very important to me, and I put this mission first in all the programming and decisions we make.

Adam Bogucki, LifeSpa Manager

Adam Bogucki

How did you get started with Life Time?

This is my first position working for Life Time. I was originally introduced to Life Time as a participant in the Life Time Chicago Triathlon two years ago.

What brought you to Life Time River North at One Chicago?

I was Jason Hammers’ hair stylist for many years. I had always wanted to work in downtown Chicago and the more I learned about Life Time, the more I knew I had to be part of this amazing club.

What’s your connection to Life Time’s healthy way of life mission?

In my career, I have been awarded as a top stylist by Allure magazine, owned an award-winning salon here in Chicago, and worked as an educator and backstage at New York Fashion Week.

In my personal life, I have completed nine marathons and two triathlons. I’m thrilled to combine my love for the beauty industry with my love for fitness and health.

Nate Doerflein, Membership Concierge Manager

Nate Doerflein

How did you get started with Life Time?

I have worked for Life Time for nine years at various locations, including at the Target Center, Plymouth, Bloomington South, Chanhassen, and Maple Grove clubs in Minnesota, and the North Dallas, Texas, Franklin, Tenn., and Oklahoma City, Okla. Clubs — and now River North.

As the membership concierge leader, I support my team in delivering consistently delightful service and customization connections that result in an unparalleled experience for members.

What brought you to Life Time River North at One Chicago?

I chose to work at this specific Life Time location because I knew River North would be an iconic, flagship destination that would have the highest of expectations, and I wanted the responsibility of introducing and growing our brand in the downtown Chicago market.

River North is an amazing experience because of the remarkable people who make the culture, club energy, and best-in-class programming. At our club, there is an uncompromising quality that is felt from the moment you step off the ninth floor elevator until the moment you start planning your next Life Time excursion as you’re greeted on the way out.

What’s your connection to Life Time’s healthy way of life mission?

I believe living a healthy way of life is not limited to working out. In the concierge department, our responsibility as the first impression of Life Time for our members, guests, and team members is to welcome them as we would our family or close friends. We show empathy in our interactions and inspire individuals and families to grow into other aspects of the club as they evolve and change, custom tailoring each individual’s experience.

Callie Chase
Callie Fredrickson

Callie Fredrickson is a content editor at Life Time.

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