Residents may be playing mini-golf and throwing axes as early as this summer if applicant Raymond Latocki sticks with his "aggressive" timeline to open up the proposed International Shoe Company fun factory.
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Earlier this month, the Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of a preliminary Planned Unit Development plan to renovate the old shoe factory at 1101 E. Capitol Ave. The 87,000-square-foot building would contain items such as a restaurant, a haunted house, a banquet hall, mini-bowling, mini-golf, ax-throwing, apartments and offices.
On Jan. 22, the Jefferson City Council will hear the proposal and a request to rezone the 8.43-acres site from light industrial to PUD. If approved, Latocki hopes to submit a final PUD plan in mid- to late-January, which could be approved administratively by the city.
If the city approves the plan and Latocki purchases the building from DeLong Properties by late March, he said EllenKimRay Productions LLC will have an "aggressive" timeline.
"It is aggressive, but we want to get going on this as fast as we can," Latocki said.
The plan would be implemented over three phases.
The first stage would involve renovating the first, fourth and fifth floors.
The first floor would contain a restaurant and bar with a smokehouse, about 10 lanes for mini-bowling and ax-throwing, 18 holes of indoor mini-golf, and a 10,000-square-foot seasonal haunted house.
The fourth floor would house about 16 multi-family apartments, while the fifth floor holds about eight penthouse apartments.
The first phase would also include adding parking, signage, a stormwater basin, lighting, landscaping and street improvements.
"We probably won't get those up and running until July or August," Latocki said. "We're pushing pretty hard on the schedule. Our main thing is we're going to get the haunted house up — we know that. We want to get the apartments open so those start generating money, and then we can go from there."
Beginning in 2020, the second phase would involve renovating the second and third floors. The second floor would host escape rooms and laser tag — taking up about 5,000 square feet total. The third floor would contain leasable office space with conference rooms and an approximately 5,200-square-foot event center or banquet hall.
These renovations may be complete in late 2020 or early 2021, Latocki said.
The final phase would not begin until 2023 or 2024. It would include a seasonal event venue, an 18-hole outdoor mini-golf course, a 10,000-square-foot seasonal haunted walkway, a 7,500-square-foot seasonal zip-line/ropes course, and rental facilities.
This entertainment use was highly recommended for the area in the city's 2006 Central East Side Neighborhood Plan. The plan envisions the surrounding neighborhood containing retail, commercial and entertainment venues that center around the International Shoe Company, along with multi-family lofts.
"Because the (area) is tied to the redevelopment potential of the old International Shoe Company building, the preservation and adaptive reuse of this structure is of paramount importance," the plan notes.
With the building being around 115 years old, Latocki said he wants to use the structure's historic nature in the renovations.
With the Missouri State Penitentiary and redevelopment site nearby, Latocki said, he is working with other entities to see how his fun factory could help other projects on that side of town. Ward 5 Councilman Mark Schreiber said the project could tie into the Missouri State Penitentiary redevelopment and riverfront access.
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"That project, which has multiple uses as the intent of the developer, it'll do nothing but complement what's going on over at MSP and even people who are going on the MSP tours," said Schreiber, chairman for the Missouri State Penitentiary Community Partners. "That's going to help the entire area and the entire neighborhood. You've got to be willing to invest in older neighborhoods so those neighborhoods can be brought back to what they once were."
Latocki said the goal is to diversify the entertainment in Jefferson City.
"You've got to have different things for people to do, so that's kind of our idea and the way we like it," said Latocki, who operates a haunted attraction, a blacklight mini-golf course and other entertainment venues in Oregon. "We think it will do rather well in Jefferson City."
The Springfield-based Vecino Group initially proposed building 75 apartments for low-income families nearly two years ago. The project stalled after the Missouri Housing Development Commission decided against matching federal funds for the Missouri Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.