Above: The fire station at 33rd Avenue and James Avenue North.
A youth boxing gym, yoga studio and corporate restaurant offices may soon move in to a long-vacant fire station in a tornado-damaged area of the North Side.
A city planning commission committee will examine a proposal Thursday from Barrio restaurant owner Ryan Burnet to buy the property on 33rd Avenue for a non-profit youth boxing gym under the name Fighting Chance. It's director will be MPD school resource officer Victor Mills, who is retiring this Saturday.
Fighting Chance's mission is to "utilize boxing as a tool to help inner city youth to learn discipline and compassion, physical fitness and self - confidence. The goal is to empower each person to make positive changes in their life," according to a May staff report.
The plan also involves moving Barrio Restaurant Group's offices to the second floor, in addition to a yoga studio. They will also create a community garden on site.
The city requested proposals for the site back in January. It received offers from Burnet and Northside Kitchen Table Cooperative, which had proposed using the ground floor for artist co-working space. The city selected the gym plan because of the likelihood it could secure financing and start redevelopment quickly.
Burnet has offered to pay $25,000, far below the $130,000 appraised value. A new appraisal based on a commercial use lowered that value, however. CPED staffer Casey Dzieweczynski said they are negotiating a final price, though it will be higher than $25,000.
The building was constructed in 1939. It operated as a fire station from 1940 to 2006, when a new station was built on Lowry Avenue.