Roundhouse redevelopment starts; first tenant signs on

       With renovation work just getting started this week, the future Roundhouse commercial center has lined up its first tenant.
       It will be Carmichael Training Systems (CTS), which coaches professional, amateur, and novice athletes, according to a press release from the Griffis/Blessing development company. The business will move from its current headquarters on Sierra Madre Street into a 10,000-square-foot space at the former home of Van Briggle Pottery at the southwest corner of Highway 24 and 21st Street in March or April.
       The space represents about a third of the square-footage that will be available with the upgrades to the interior of the historic building, Griffis/Blessing president Steve Engel explained in a follow-up interview.
       As a result, the plan now is to market the remaining space to fitness-related businesses and possibly for a “casual dining” restaurant. “CTS is taking such a significant portion of the building, there are logical synergistic uses that would want to go near them,” he said.
       According to the release, CTS decided on the relocation because of the impending sale of its current building and the opportunity to add a facility that founder/ owner Chris Carmichael calls the Endurance Sports Club for cyclists, runners and triathletes. Carmichael is also a personal coach to seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, the release states.
       The 121-year-old building was originally the roundhouse for the Midland railroad. Van Briggle, which has owned the building for more than 50 years, had its last day there Nov. 30 and is looking for a new, smaller location, Brittany Stevenson, a member of the family-owned business, said this week.
       For a while, Van Briggle had looked into leasing the former Surplus City building at Colorado Avenue and 28th Street, but this plan had to be scrapped when the building was bought by a man who plans to open a bookstore there. (See story, Page 1.)
       Griffis/Blessing is leasing the property, with an option to buy over a period of time, Engel said.
       Following plans approved in October by City Planning, the development firm will upgrade the building inside and out, although without altering the historic stone-block exterior. The work will also include curb, gutter and sidewalks on 21st Street and Bott Avenue (just south of the site), with accesses to be cut in from both those streets.
       Griffis/Blessing also has city approval for two freestanding buildings on the 3.1-acre parcel, but a timetable for those development phases has not yet been established, Engel said.

Westside Pioneer/press release