Harness Collective is bringing new vision to the historic Vitrolite building in Ohio City

Harness Cycle has been a cult staple with spinning and fitness enthusiasts in Ohio City since 2013, but founder Anne Hartnett and CEO Andria Loczi have had their wheels turning on an even bigger vision in recent years. The result? The newly launched Harness Collective, which will offer not only diverse health and wellness programming, but also serve as a launching pad for local small businesses.

“We want to continue to be an anchor for the neighborhood and a space for people to nurture their mind and body, but do it in a whole new way,” explains Loczi, a long-time Harness Cycle instructor who was named CEO in 2020. “COVID sparked our next chapter and an evolution of who we are and who we want to become. Since then, we’ve gotten really focused on how we can make even more impact.”

What that will look like in practice is a brand-new space incorporating not only the Harness Cycle studio, but also flexible retail and event space—or, as founder Hartnett envisions it, “a West Side Market, but for your personal well-being needs.” The space will not only showcase new brands associated with Harness Collective, but also offer online and emerging entrepreneurs the chance to host pop-ups and test the waters of brick-and-mortar.

The future space inside the Vitrolite BuildingWith plans to open in early 2022, the Harness Collective space will be housed in the historic Vitrolite building at 2915 Detroit Ave. (just a block away from the original location). It’s a momentous occasion in more ways than one, as Harness Cycle’s former studio locations (Downtown and Ohio City) have been closed since March 2020. In the interim, Harness Cycle has gone strictly virtual—offering recorded and livestream spinning classes, as well as at-home bike rentals and sales.

“We’ve been online for almost two years now,” says Loczi of the necessary pivot. “Now we’re laser-focused now on the reopening of our physical studio, but digital will be here to stay.”

The new Harness Cycle will be the first part of the new building to open to the public, featuring a 38-bike spinning studio and gender-inclusive restrooms/changing areas. A giant garage door will open up into the space, which will eventually grow to encompass retail with “The Shops at Harness Collective.” (Over Thanksgiving weekend, the Harness Collective team ran a “sneak peek” soft launch of the retail aspect, partnering with Shore Society and HIM&HIS to offer holiday pop-up shops.)

“The corner here at Harness Cycle will be a prime spot for activation as a brick-and-mortar incubator,” explains Loczi. “We really want to support people who want to take their businesses to the next level, but aren’t ready to sign a long-term lease.”

Loczi projects that other future elements may include a “café-style food co-op” and “stay-and-play” childcare area for staff and patrons. “It’s an 18,000-square-foot building, which gives us the footprint to activate spaces in a variety of ways,” explains Loczi. “We really felt this building was meant for us.”

Read more articles by Jen Jones Donatelli.

As an enthusiastic CLE-vangelist, Jen Jones Donatelli enjoys diving headfirst into her work with FreshWater Cleveland. Upon moving back to Cleveland after 16 years in Los Angeles, Jen served as FreshWater's managing editor for two years (2017-2019) and continues her work with the publication as a contributing editor and host of the FreshFaces podcast. When not typing the day away at her laptop, she teaches writing and creativity classes through her small business Creative Groove, as well as Literary Cleveland, Cleveland State University, and more. Jen is a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.