This has been quite a year!!
I don’t post very often, but wanted all of you to know the steps we’ve taken to keep our valued Vancouver members training.
Thinking we would be there for many years, we built a beautiful gym in Yaletown and grew our wonderful membership to capacity. What we couldn’t predict was how much the landlord’s property taxes and operating expenses would go up which was then subsequently passed to us the tenants. It basically doubled our rent. Even with full classes, the business wasn’t able to cover the cost of being there.
Subsequently, we started looking for a comparable location in, or as close to Yaletown as possible. We were so excited to find a great location at the corner of 4th Ave and Fir St. and started negotiations with the landlord. As the building needed a lot of work, we had to hire structural and parking engineers, an architect and a design team to prepare the necessary documents for the City permitting. This was all prepared and submitted in our attempt to save any delay in opening the new location for our members. At the last minute, we were blindsided by the landlord who decided not to do a long term lease and terminated the negotiations with us. Sophie and I were devastated as we had already moved from Yaletown to the Steel Yard, and now had no new home to move to.
The next day, we hit the pavement looking for a new space and were lucky enough to find an even better one at 278 East 1st Avenue. It had just gone on the market, so I started the negotiations with the landlord that day. Because it is a Change Of Use from Light Industrial to Fitness, we have had to go through the whole process all over again in preparation of submitting to the City. Again, I took a chance and contracted all of the same consultants, prepared the necessary documents and submitted them to the City 3 months ago. This was all before we even had a deal with the landlord.
In the meantime, we reached out to our old friend Simon Damborg, who owns Raincity Athletics. He is the only gym owner that I trust my members with in downtown Vancouver. He’s smart, one hell of a coach with a great team, and runs his business similar to ours. He and his coaches have opened their arms to us during our transition to 1st Avenue. We are so thankful and appreciative for this.
We now have a nice, long lease in a fantastic location and are currently working with the City to obtain our Development Permit. We have no control over how long this process will take, but please know that we will keep you updated. We’re almost there!
I can’t wait to see our gang back together at Raincity starting next week.