It’s been a long journey for Kevin Johnson and his colleagues, but nine years of hard work — and patience — are just about to come to fruition. The Team 85 Fitness and Wellness center and field house is set to open its doors later this month.

When the idea came to Johnson, he had just wrapped up a six-year career in the NFL, where he had stints with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions. Prior to that, Johnson, a Hamilton native and Hamilton High School West alum, was a wide receiver at Syracuse University.

Johnson’s athletic background is obviously extensive, and one of his initial goals was to pass that along to the community. He wanted to create a health club where families could go to meet their fitness goals, plus a little extra.

It ended up being a lot extra, as the 75,000-square-foot facility includes two floors of fitness and cardio equipment, a full-service salon and spa, a café, a community room, golf practice stalls, classrooms, an infant area, kids’ craft and party rooms, two swimming pools, an indoor track, women’s-only areas and locker rooms, in addition to the 45,000-square-foot field house next door. Team 85 will also offer group exercise classes, like yoga, pilates and spin classes. Everything, including classes, is included with the membership.

“Staying true to our mission, I think we have something for everyone,” Johnson said. “I think it’s just going to be an experience that a family or an individual can come here and enjoy, whether it’s for a half hour, or three hours. It’s going to be a great experience for the community.”

Laying the groundwork for his mission so close to his hometown was just an added bonus.

“It’s definitely refreshing,” he said. “You take all of those life experiences that you have and you say, ‘If I had the ability, what would I develop so everyone can take advantage of it?’ To provide this atmosphere to your local community, especially one you grew up in, is a blessing and a dream come true.”

The goal is to appeal to individuals trying to get healthy, student-athletes looking to go further and everyone in between.

As far as student-athletes go, Team 85 could potentially have a lot to work with — there are a number of colleges (Rider, TCNJ, Burlington County Community College), high schools and middle schools nearby. And who better to help than a former Division I and professional athlete?

“We did a pretty good job of trying to go through situations or different journeys that I’ve taken,” Johnson, 39, said. “Hopefully, we can provide the blueprint for the child who wants to play varsity sports, major college sports, professional sports. We can provide them those resources to allow them to accomplish their goals.”

The field house will include a turf area, indoor batting cages, two full-sized basketball courts that can be converted for volleyball, a party room and a snack bar. There is the potential for leagues, clinics, summer camps and birthday parties, all of which Team 85 will manage in-house.

Overall, the facility seems to be exactly what Johnson envisioned.

“There are very few atmospheres in our society today where parents can take their kids to a safe environment that is done the right way,” he said. “I think we wanted to be a place where people can go to and have a full day of activities, or an hour activities. It’s going to be safe, it’s going to be fun and it’s going to be a welcoming environment. I think we’ve been able to accomplish all of those goals.”

But it hasn’t been without its difficulties.

Johnson said he learned a ton of lessons throughout the whole process, both tangible — Department of Environmental Protection protocol, zoning, and construction policies, among others — and intangible.

He said patience has been his biggest takeaway.

“Sometimes you say, ‘I’ll do this to cut some time off,’” he said. “But you have to go through the process. You have to be patient, and you just have to surround yourself with really good people.”

Johnson said his colleagues lived up to that ideal.

“Sometimes, when you approach things thinking you’re always right, you make a lot of bad decisions,” he said. “I’m only as good as my weakest person, and if you don’t surround yourself with good people, you’re bound to fail. From the top down, everyone here has a role. The key thing is that everyone has to be a little bit unselfish.”

Already open in the overarching Team Campus are Fulton Bank, Daniels Veins, and Performance Spine and Sports Management. The fitness and wellness center is set to open its doors mid-January.

Team 85 Fitness and Wellness, 8500 K. Johnson Boulevard, Bordentown. 609-298-8585.

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