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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 05-13-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
Thomas Ramsland
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Looking for a space and loosing my mind

So, we've been on the search for a building for a couple months now and it is so much more difficult than i expected! I keep running into either industrial building that require a special use permit or small over priced retail spaces. I find it hard to believe that all of these CF affiliates in industrial style warehouses filed and waited for a special use permit. Also aren't buildings required to have ADA compliant restrooms?
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Old 05-13-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
Thomas Ramsland
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Re: Looking for a space and loosing my mind

One of the cities I'm looking to lease in had told me upon application of my business license the city would conduct an inspection of the desired property. Most of these buildings Im seeing have nowhere near enough parking (3 per 300sqft) or adequate restrooms. What am I missing here?
Thank you.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:29 PM   #3
Rob Brown
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Re: Looking for a space and loosing my mind

Don't go crazy, and take your time to get the perfect spot.

Are you guys going by a zoning map? If you can, avoid a special use permit.
In the cases I know, we only looked at spots in specific zoning that allowed for a gym. We even went to the city council to change zoning for a building that we hoped to get. Finding a near perftect location took 5 months.

I would avoid a retail space at all costs. ..neighbors hate bumper plates and loud music. It is a huge pain in the ***. Even in an industrial setting I would advise a freestanding building. People are driven nuts about thumping sounds all day long.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
Anthony Floyd
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Re: Looking for a space and loosing my mind

Yes - its all about zoning and what you are saying you are doing. If you say "a CrossFit gym", people only hear gym. That means 24 hours a day, no scheduled class times, could be 3 ppl or 300, depending on peak hours. That is why your parking requirements. Went through some of the same stuff in town because I only have 10 spots for my 1500 sq/ft building, but when they found out I was doing classes, and they were capped at 10 people per class, everything was good from there. ADA bathrooms I got lucky and were already there and passed. Not sure about your next steps are for that. If you have more questions about it, Camille is a great resource for zoning. Even went through all of my zoning codes for my exact town and told me best options/route. Check a couple zoning threads for some more background info.
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:59 AM   #5
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Looking for a space and loosing my mind

Two thoughts:

Are you working with a tenet representative? This is an agent who helps business owners find suitable properties and then helps with the lease negotiations. They are paid by the landlord if you sign a lease. A good independent rep can be very helpful.

Have you contacted the major landlords in your town? Here in Phoenix we have a couple of very big local commercial real estate companies that own millions of square feet of space throughout the valley. My old landlord was one of them. If I build a new gym I will be giving them a call directly. We have a good relationship, they know I can pay my rent on time and am a good tenet. If I give them a list of requirements they will give me a list of properties that will work.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:04 AM   #6
Thomas Ramsland
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Re: Looking for a space and loosing my mind

Thanks for the advice. Assuring the city of class size is a good idea. I've been working with whom ever the broker is for each site. I dont have a personal rep. I found a new space yesterday that may be promising. 'll keep you updated.
Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:34 AM   #7
Brian Diez
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Re: Looking for a space and loosing my mind

Here's what I would recommend...

Take a retail space of about 2000sq ft with high ceilings, plenty of parking and good foot traffic.

Make your lease out for 3 years with the option to bail out after 1.

Your box will grow quickly due to the traffic. After a year or so you'll be ready to move to a bigger location in an industrial area and it'll be worth the hassle of getting the permits.
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:52 AM   #8
Thomas Ramsland
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Re: Looking for a space and loosing my mind

Brian thanks for the advice. I found a light industrial building with 4800 sqft. its the two corner suits. 3400 of it is open floor, 2400 of that has 16' ceilings, and its zoned for indoor/outdoor rec. Now just waiting for approval on parking and the restroom. Praying that this one fits the bill because it would be a steal. If for some reason it doesn't work i have a 2000 sqft retail space that could probably work.
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