Fun Zone planning move into former Pacific Galleries building

Now that the gymnastics center is up and running in the former Pacific Galleries building on 9th Street North, property owner Dan Bateman is working to further fill the 65,000 square building.

This week, the city planning board unanimously voted to recommend that the City Commission approve Bateman’s request for a conditional use permit to allow for an “indoor sports and recreation” activity. It’s an allowable use in the M-2 mixed-use transitional zoning with a CUP.

Staff has recommended approval of the permit.

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Bateman has been working with Jeff Erickson to bring the Kids Fun Zone into the currently unused 7,415 square foot area of Suite A, which also houses the new gymnastics center. Pasta Montana is using 25,000 square feet in Suite C for storage.

During the meeting, Bateman said, “We’re proud of what we’ve done with the building.”

The Kids Fun Zone was previously located in the former Agri-Village building at 4800 10th Ave. S., but lost the space with the city fire marshal shut that building down for safety concerns a few years ago.

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The only compliance issue city staff had with the project was parking.

Planning board member Patrick Sullivan said, “I’m excited for this. This is cool.”

Pete Fontana, board chair, said he was glad to see someone tackle the building.

Based on the square footage of the space being proposed for the recreation use, 64 parking spaces would typically have to be provided for the tenant, according to the code requirements.

But since the anticipated number of customers is fairly low and the time of operation planned for the Fun Zone only partially overlaps with the gymnastics center, the large parking county isn’t needed, city staff determined.

Since Bateman already has 25 parking spaces he can dedicate to the recreation facility, is proposing to add another 15 new spaces and another 11 spaces would be available for occasions where overflow would be necessary, the city worked with Bateman to make the project work.

A condition of the permit approval includes that additional parking must be provided in compliance with the code or submit a shared parking agreement when additional tenants occupy the building or when change in use intensifies parking demand. Any shared parking agreement will be reviewed and approved by the city’s planning director should additional tenants move in or parking demand increase.

Bateman is also working with the city fire marshal to make some adjustments to their fire suppression system to get final approvals.

Neighborhood Council 7 didn’t meet in November so Bateman is planning to visit that council at their Dec. 10 meeting and input from that meeting will be included in the staff report for the City Commission meeting.