A Hamilton businessman who hoped to start Friday evening professional wrestling shows as soon as Dec. 28 was blocked in that effort when the Hamilton Planning Commission didn’t vote to allow the shows.
With one commissioner absent, and some commissioners concerned about alcohol sales and worried there might not be sufficient parking, the panel deadlocked 3-3, which meant the request by Brian LeVick to provide the shows failed.
But after the vote, commissioners and the owner of a gym being developed at 190 N. Brookwood discussed the possibility of amending their parking request, with hopes the wrestling can be approved next month.
LeVick owns Future Great Comics on Main Street and has been working with 30 wrestlers to launch Future Great Wrestling.
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Residents of the nearby 39-unit Colonial Lake condominium complex told the panel they worried about their area being overwhelmed by many vehicles parking in the area and the presence of alcohol.
“No. 1, traffic, traffic, traffic,” said Mary Severson, expressing her biggest concern. “No one wants to live with this type of thing in their front yard.”
Fay Baker, president of the Colonial Lake condominium association, said she had no problem with the gym that Daniel Moorehead of Elite Butler Services plans to create. It will include a general gym open around the clock, a CrossFit space, golf simulators, batting cages, athlete training, boxing training for people who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease and a Ninja Warrior program. The planning commission on Monday voted 6-0 to allow the gym to sell alcohol on its site, mainly for people using the golf simulator.
Many features in the 32,000-square-foot building should be finished in February.
But when the commission considered the wrestling shows, which were estimated to draw 225 or more in an area with a capacity to hold an audience of 265 people, commission members joined residents in their concern. City planning staff had evaluated the available parking for the gym and determined there was enough of it on site to accommodate the events.
LeVick said under his plans for the wrestling, events would start at 7:30 p.m. and end at 9:30 or 10 p.m., and possibly 10:30 p.m. for special events.
“It’s a great event,” LeVick said. “Think WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), but with less money. It’s not like just backyard wrestling, or anything like this. These are trained professionals, some of them have worked for WWE, some are being looked at by WWE.
“My head trainer is one of the best in the country. He’s actually winning an award in Las Vegas in a few months, for wrestling training. So this is great for Hamilton, it’s great publicity for Hamilton.”
“West Hamilton needs a place for people to go to, so that we can kind-of spread it (development) out in Hamilton,” LeVick said. “I know we’re working High Street, and Main Street, and German Village, but it would be nice to complete that trifecta with the West Side of Hamilton.”
Commissioner Mike Samoviski said he voted no because of the parking.
“I applaud Mr. LeVick on his endeavor here, but I don’t think this is the appropriate site for this activity,” Samoviski said. “I think if it is as successful as we think it’s going to be, parking is going to be a very legitimate problem — it’s going to impact the neighborhood residents, and I think unfairly so.”
“I think there are other locations in the city that could be looked at for this type of activity.”
Commissioner Teri Horsley agreed. Commissioner David Belew joined them in voting no.
LeVick said if the wrestling isn’t approved he may have to move his Future Great Comics out of Hamilton, possibly out of state. He said he had already paid rent to the gym facility and wrestlers had taken off work to be at the now-canceled Dec. 28 event.