Summary: We have to build a wall to separate the building into two units. This will cut down our parking requirement to an attainable 13 (with 2 bike racks).
The Non-Summary: So back in 2010 I was arrested on Halloween weekend after wrapping my Chevy Silverado around a tree. It was the biggest of a series of drinking related mistakes that gradually led me to my sobriety (it took me 10 more months to finally come around for good). When I finally began the court process plenty of people had plenty of advice. The most popular piece of advice was that since I did not blow I would not be convicted. The second favorite among my in the know friends was that delaying the trial would eventually get me off because surely a police officer is unable to keep his schedule straight.
So do you know what happened? I got my hopes up. I even, at times, started to believe that maybe because not being convicted was a possibility that my mistake was less serious. Fortunately (not kidding), the judge finally was presented with my case and took about 2 minutes to arrive at 18 months of probation with all of the bells and whistles (deep lung breath analyzer in the car, GPS ankle monitor on my leg, about $15,000 in total costs and quite a few "education" classes, not to mention the monthly meetings with my probation officer. Oh, and 150 hours of community service. Oh, oh, and 2 AA meetings a week for the duration of my probation).
It was severe and heavy handed. Had I not had the job I did (CrossFit 1525!) or the support structure, there is a good chance that I would have seen the journey as being nearly impossible. Thankfully the 18 months passed (at a crawl at times) and now, almost 4 years to the day of my arrest, I am over 3 years sober, have opened a business, sold my interest in that business and am opening another. I do not believe I would be where I am without that harsh reality of my punishment.
I tell you this because plenty of people offered plenty of shortcut ideas. And none held any water but they did serve to shake my focus, build false hope and, overall, lead to nothing good.
I promise this relates to todays goings on. I have dealt with the city one other time when opening the first gym. Back then, plenty of people close to me swore they knew exactly what it would take, where the loopholes were and how to avoid paying for unnecessary permitting. Guess what? They were wrong and it cost us time, money and embarrassment. Nothing like a red tag on the front of your building to establish a professional reputation.
We ended up, eventually, following exactly what had been laid out for us in the beginning. We were just 3-6 months late on starting that process. Ego got in the way. Trying to overthink the situation got in the way. Thinking somehow the city was wrong got in the way.
Just get it done! Just follow the rules, don't think you know better and do the work asked of you. There is certainly a time for creativity. There is a time to push the envelope and not settle for the norm. Dealing with the city (or government in general) is not the time nor place (unless you're voting for change I suppose).
Today we received luke warm good news. Plan A was shot down (because, it turns out, it was NEVER AN OPTION IN THE FIRST PLACE BUT IT SURE SOUNDED GOOD!), plan b was never really an option (who knew?!) BUT Plan C is already in the works. Here is what it involves:
Our 6,000 square foot building will be split into 2 units, 3,000 square feet each. This will cut our parking requirement down to 15 spaces. Add in two bike racks (4 bikes each) and now we only need 13 spaces! Keep in mind that the Home Owners Association has already signed off on our use of street parking (Lindale Park has magnificently wide streets!).
So, we are currently taking quotes for separating the building with a fire resistant/proof (unsure of which) wall. This really should not take long. Once the wall is up we should be on the downhill. We have met nearly all of the other requirements for a commercial gym. ADA bathrooms, up to code electrical and adequate parking. I will keep you updated with the progress. We are meeting tomorrow to agree on the location of the wall and to hash out the remainder of the details. I really believe we are looking at adding the wall, the hot water heater and the AC unit.
I want to thank everyone so much for their support. The social media outreach has been incredible. This has certainly been a tough period of transition, but as I mentioned this morning, I have learned quite a few lessons over the last 3 months that will benefit us going forward. We will be open soon and we will crush the world!