OAKLAND -- A high-end fitness club, whose members include Gov. Jerry Brown, was unexpectedly shuttered Tuesday, leaving some of Oakland's most powerful figures unable to even clean out their lockers.
The governor himself placed at least one call to find out why his beloved Club One location was shut after two decades at Oakland's City Center.
The answer appears to be a dispute between the club's brand new owners and their landlord.
By late afternoon, however, the issue appeared to be resolved and the club, which has more than 100 employees, opened Tuesday evening.
On Monday night, Club One, which had suffered from cash-flow problems, was acquired by an outfit called Active Sports Clubs. The new ownership group, which includes Club One cofounder Jill Kinney, opened all 11 of the Bay Area's Club One centers Tuesday except for the Oakland location.
Kinney said she had agreed to increase rent payments by almost $60,000 as part of a new long-term lease, but building owner John Ziegler nixed the deal late Monday night.
"We're a little stunned," she said before the owner agreed to let her reopen the gym. "We were fully prepared to pay what he wanted in terms of the lease rate."
Ziegler, who himself is a club member, said that Club One had defaulted on the lease by not paying rent and that the building's ownership group knew very little about the new ownership group.
Kinney said that Club One was only late for this month's rent because of the impending sale. Although Ziegler said his ownership group wasn't preventing the club from opening, Kinney said the club couldn't open until Ziegler transfers the lease to the new ownership group.
It's unclear if the governor's interest in the dispute helped in the settlement.
Kinney said Brown called her company Tuesday asking about the closure. Ziegler refused to say if he had heard from the governor.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday, Kinney said she got a letter from Ziegler granting permission to reopen the gym. "We're thrilled to get the doors back open for our members and greatly appreciate everyone's patience while we struggled with this transition," Kinney said.
Brown wasn't the only club member feeling inconvenienced Tuesday. Oakland developer Phil Tagami said he walked up to the club to find it locked shut. "I can't even get my stuff out of my locker," he said early Tuesday.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.