City of Garfield approves karting plan for Sears Tower

Garfield City Planning Commissioners on Wednesday approved plans to open the K1 Speed ​​indoor karting center for the new owner of the Sears Building at Cherryland Center, who plans to open it in early summer 2023. The Planning Commissioner is also proposing to plan a 35-family zoning near the Birmley Hills estate for city council approval and move the planned two church day care centers to the next stage of the review and approval process.
K1 Speed ​​Other Ulysses Walls, the new owner of the Sears building at Cherryland Center, has received the green light from Garfieldtown to open a new K1 Speed ​​kart franchise in the building.
Walls purchased the building in October and began work on the site ahead of a planned opening in June. K1 Speed ​​is an indoor kart racing company with over 60 locations worldwide, including in Oxford, Michigan. K1 Speed ​​focuses on 20hp electric karts capable of 45mph for adult riders and 20mph for beginner riders. Plans for the project also include a video game arcade and a restaurant/bar called the Paddock Lounge in the building, with future plans to add laser tag and golf.
The Township Planning Commissioner reviewed and unanimously approved Walls’ site planning application on Wednesday. City planning director Jon Sich noted that the board’s approval meant the entire building could be used for indoor entertainment. Walls previously told The Ticker that go-karts would take up half of the building, and he hopes to explore other uses, such as an indoor trampoline park, in the future. Any future expansion plans still need to be reviewed by the City.
The planning commissioners attached several conditions to their approval, including requiring the city engineer to conduct a stormwater runoff analysis, provide lighting plans, and add additional bike racks and trees to the site. Bob Vershaev, project spokesman for engineering firm Gosling Czubak, noted that the Cherryland center is over 40 years old and some areas of the original lighting still exist, so Walls plans to update the lighting. It will also install additional containment islands with trees to improve parking and meet the requirement to plant at least 46 trees on the site.
“He wanted to clean up the scene,” Vershaev said. “There are dead trees there. He’s going to replace them. Some trees are gone. He’s going to replace them. There’s a lot of weeds. He’s ready to clean them up and put them in order,” Planning Commissioner Chris DeHoo. It would be better if car parks were more visually interesting, said Chris DeGoode. “Now it looks like a sea of ​​asphalt,” he said. “That’s how they used to do it.” Vershaev pointed out that Walls is a doctor, not a developer, who he says fell in love with the K1 Speed ​​franchise and brought it to Traverse “for the community.” . Vershaev said that since the stories of the planned karting center became known, “(Vols) has had a very positive reaction, so he’s excited about it.”
After Walls opened a karting center and Traverse City Curling Club opened a new curling center in the Kmart building, Cherryland Center now has three major owners, Sych said. The third, V. Kumar Vemulapally, has Younkers, Big Lots and Asian Buffet complexes, as well as a cistern behind the property. Sych said he had discussed with Vemulapally a possible new use of the Junkers building. If the project is submitted to the township for consideration, Sych said he would like to try to develop an updated “comprehensive plan” for the entire Cherryland Center, as the mall property should operate as a unit.
“It always had to exist and function as a whole,” he said. “Even though it looked and felt like a place, it was actually broken into these little pieces. still looked and functioned like a complete development.”
Also at Wednesday’s meeting… > Members of the planning committee voted to take the proposal for a 35-unit subdivision near the Bermley Hill estate to the City Council and recommend approval of the project. Developer Steve Zakraysek of T&R Investments plans to build 35 single-family homes ranging from 15,000 to 38,000 square feet at the end of Farmington Drive and Birmley Estates Drive. The community will be served by water and sewer from an adjacent extension and roads from Birmley Estates Drive and Farmington Court (both adjacent to Birmley Road).
Some residents of neighboring communities are concerned about the impact of the development, in particular on water pressure in the area and traffic on roads in the area. Township crews addressed the issues on Wednesday, noting that no reduction in water pressure is expected, but the Greater Traverse County Department of Public Works said changes could be made to “improve pressure consistency in the area.” The Grand Traverse County Highway Commission and GT Metro Fire are also concerned about the impact of traffic on the roads. Design criteria such as fencing, lighting, landscaping and parking will be considered in the design of each residential area.
> Planning Commissioners are moving the proposed two Church child care centers to the next stage of village review and approval. The first, a preschool and childcare center called Loving Neighbors Preschool, will be located at the North Lakes Community Church on Herkner Road. The center can accommodate up to 29 children under the age of 5 and has a staff of one principal and five teachers. According to the church’s application, the building has 75 parking spaces and can accommodate both the church and the nursery. The planning commissioner held a public hearing on the project on Wednesday before instructing staff to prepare a fact-finding report. This means that the planning commissioners can formally vote to approve the project at their next meeting on January 11th.
The Planning Commissioner also scheduled a January 11 public hearing on Traverse City Christian School’s application for special permission to open an early learning center at the Church of the Living God near Bermley Road. The center can accommodate up to 100 children and over 15 staff and is open to children aged 0 to 6. According to the filing, the program will run during business hours Monday through Friday throughout the year, “with several scheduled breaks in accordance with the academic year calendar.” The center will use the existing classrooms and interior of the church, a car park (with 238 spaces) and a playground, with minor modifications to comply with permit requirements. If there are no problems with the application, the planning commissioner may instruct staff in January to prepare a fact-finding report, meaning the project could be put to a vote for approval in February.
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Post time: Dec-30-2022