|My crazy buddy Jim McCarter - I miss him|
|A photo from our first show - |
that's Lucy with Austin in the background!
After the show, the gym closed down. I had to scramble for a new location but found one. We moved
to another health club and to my surprise we grew to over 75 students. I started thinking I was on to something here and this was what I was destined to do. So I began looking for a permanent home. We looked all over the Chandler and Gilbert area and found the location on the NE corner of McQueen and Warner. There was no anchor store and the space was between a mortgage company and a neighborhood bar. Not optimum but affordable and sufficient. We secured the lease and opened around September of 2004 with just 2 rooms.
|1520 W. Warner Rd. in Gilbert|
As the next few years went by, we grew to over 200 students. The Goodwill moved in to the anchor space and the town of Gilbert passed a smoking ordinance that moved the bar patrons outside for their cigarettes. It started to become a little uncomfortable but with the help of parents and staff, we continued to provide a safe environment for our kids.
After last year, the shopping center went in to bankruptcy and it became clear to me that it was time to move on. We were busting at the seams with 250 kids taking dance! I decided to hire a broker this time to find me a space within a mile that would provide room to grow and all the things we needed in a more appropriate shopping center. It took a few tries. I attempted renegotiations with our current center to move to the east end but they just didn't put together anything attractive. I looked across the street at the empty building behind CVS but they seemed to want to design something for themselves that they could sell to a new owner rather than a lease for a building to suit our needs.
Finally we started serious talks with our future home at 1020 E. Ray Road in the Safeway at the Provinces Center. This process was something I had never experienced before. I was learning new things daily and talking to brokers, lawyers, advisors, etc. Every day was a new challenge! After over 6 months of negotiations and approvals, I was able to sign a new lease with ample tenant improvement provisions in June of 2013. Right about the time of recital.... isn't THAT nice. But I made it!!!
|1020 E. Ray Rd. in Chandler|
The shopping center is anchored by Safeway which has an awesome deli and of course a Starbucks. (woo hoo!) Rosati's pizza is right across from us and we tried out their amazing pizza yesterday! Yummy! Sorry Nicantoni's... :( we hope you will all continue to patronize Nicantoni's. They have been wonderful to us and our names are covering their walls. They have served us well. There is also a chinese restaurant and a chiropractor office directly across from us. In the center is a Water 'n Ice, Dollar Store, Wells Fargo, and more! Super convenient and a perfect environment for busy DSD families. We look forward to seeing you all this week and hope you enjoy our new facility!
To find out more about Desert Star Dance see our website at http://www.desertstardance.com