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Cornelius News

Indoor entertainment center coming to Kenton Place


By Dave Vieser. First, it was a Lowe’s Foods and then a Harris Teeter reclamation center. Now the 50,000 square foot store on Kenton Drive will become an indoor recreation and entertainment center. Urban Air, based in Dallas, Texas, hopes to cut the ribbon in December.

It promises to be an awesome place to unleash screaming kids.

Urban Air officials actually planned to open on Kenton Drive this past summer, but renovations took longer than expected. They are opening similar facilities throughout the country, some in closed supermarkets or pharmacy buildings.

As far as the town is concerned, the business is good to go. “This will not require any Town approvals as the original zoning approval allows this type of commercial/retail use” said Planning Director Wayne Herron.

Urban Air builds indoor recreation facilities which includes dodgeball courts, obstacle courses, along with climbing ropes and twisting tubes, not just trampolines.

They do carry a heavy price tag to operate, with typical franchise investment running over $2 million.

The trampoline park industry is saturated, but Urban Air differentiates itself as a family entertainment facility and indoor family theme park that also has trampolines.

It also takes advantage of the bounce in vacancies among 90s-era big box retailers.

Acording to county tax records, the Kenton Place location has a tax value of $6.7 million. It’s been under-utilized since Lowe’s Foods and Harris Teeter completed a sale and swap of 16 stores back in 2012.

Urban Air’s founder and CEO Michael Browning is optimistic about the new Cornelius location.

“We know families are looking for ways to spend time together – and the more active the experience, the more memorable,” Browning said.

The family-friendly, indoor entertainment is available for customized birthday parties for kids as well as adults who need a location for corporate retreats, team building experiences and private events.

Rounding out the new facility is a snack bar where guests can enjoy soft drinks and light refreshments.

Company officials hope to hire as many as 60 local residents to help staff the new Cornelius location. Those seeking to apply can visit the company’s website at www.urbanair.com.