Kickboxing Gym 9Round Selects Belair Beltway Plaza For Second Franchise Location In Greater Baltimore Area


Local franchise holders Ken and Julie Jacobs parlayed employee severance package from Air Products to pursue expansion of nine station, thirty-minute fitness concept

Ken and Julie Jacobs poured over possible franchise concepts to invest in, after the couple received an employee severance package from Air Products in Sparrows Point, before settling on 9Round, a kickboxing gym that anticipates the presence of more than 1000 sites nationally by the end of next year. After opening their first location in the Canton area of Baltimore City in March 2015, they now intend to open a second gym at Belair Beltway Plaza by the end of the summer. Herbert Burgunder of PK Law and Joe Mekulski of KLNB Retail represented 9Round and Ken Bernstein of David S. Brown Enterprises represented the landlord in this transaction. Ken and Julie Jacobs have plans to open approximately “one new site per year over the next five years, if everything goes according to schedule.”

Founded by Shannon Hudson, the former International Kickboxing Federation Light Middleweight Champion of the World, 9Round consists of nine separate work-out stations that take approximately thirty minutes to complete, with all activity supervised by a trained professional. Stations one and two focuses on the use of dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine ball and jump rope. Stations three through eight involve different punching and kicking techniques using heavy bags. The final station, or round, emphasizes the development of abdominal muscles and the strengthening of the core.

“We researched concepts such as cell phone repair and popcorn kiosks, but gravitated to this concept because Ken and I both recognize the importance of physical fitness and believe this attacks workouts in an extremely creative and successful manner,” explained Julie Jacobs. “The exercise routine emulates the same workouts used by actual fighters and personalized trainers help the participants through every round. There are no classes to sign up for and you proceed at your own pace. No machines are involved. The entire workout is body-weight powered.”

Belair Beltway Plaza, located at 7648-7658 Belair Road in the Fullerton area of Baltimore County, consists of 140,000 square feet of commercial office, medical and retail space and features a two-story, 15,000 square foot office building with direct entrance suites. Tenants include Mercy Hospital, M&T Bank, Carrabas Grill and Beltway Movie 6. More than 40,000 vehicles pass the site on a daily basis and the center is adjacent to an exit of the Baltimore Beltway.

“Belair is home to us, and we wanted our second location to be within our comfort zone,” Jacobs added. “We are familiar with the neighborhood, the people that live here and the dynamics of the marketplace. We are completely convinced that local residents will embrace this exercise concept and support us.”

Jacobs indicated that the typical 9Round customer is a woman in her mid-to-late twenties, but the Canton location works with people from sixteen to seventy years of age. “You are not competing with the person next to you because everything is completely individualized,” she said. “Women can shed up to 500 calories per workout, while some men can burn off approximately 1200 calories. The workout is different and challenging.”

Monthly membership fees are $89 with the frequency of workouts unlimited.

“Boutique fitness centers are in vogue, as consumers are seeking specialized exercise concepts in place of the big-boxes that cater to the masses,” explained Ken Bernstein of David S. Brown Enterprises. “9Round is among the fastest-growing franchises in the country and Ken and Julie Jacobs are extremely passionate operators. This brings a unique use to Belair Beltway Plaza and will generate new traffic to the center.”

David S. Brown Enterprises, LTD., founded in 1933 and headquartered in Owings Mills, MD, is a full-service real estate development and management company. For additional information, visit

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