Here’s why a Kitchener climbing gym may have to relocate again

The owners of a popular Kitchener rock climbing gym have asked city council to give the business a fighting chance.

Last year, the owners of Grand River Rocks/Go Bananas indoor climbing gym announced signing a five-year lease to occupy the former LA Fitness building on Victoria St. The lease also included a five-year renewal option.

This comes after the gym’s current location on Borden Avenue was slated to be redeveloped.

The owners have been informed the Victoria Street location will also be redeveloped. That could result in significant financial losses.

Co-owner Mike Cieplak said the company has spent the last year renovating the Victoria St. location. Mainly the installation of custom built climbing walls.

Cieplak said they were not made aware the new property was also going to be redeveloped when they signed the lease last June.

He spoke in front of Kitchener Council earlier this week asking for council to deny approving the new development.

Cieplak said the delay would allow them to recoup the investment they have already made.

“The way our business is built, the capital investment is entirely all up front, which is in the climbing walls. The climbing walls are built specific to the building. They cannot just be taken apart and moved,” he said.

“So, we really need to be in a building for a minimum 10 years.”

Cieplak said he knows the business will eventually have to move again.

A Brampton based developer plans to build three-towers with 1,076 residential units and some commercial space at 236 and 264 Victoria St.

Council deferred its decision on Monday to a special meeting expected to take place in the coming days.

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