SOUTH PORTLAND — A local entrepreneur plans to open the state’s first Urban Air Trampoline Park franchise this fall in the former Marshalls department store at Clarks Pond.
Anthony Dill said he has a long-term lease for the 31,000-square-foot space, which also includes a mezzanine level. The property is owned by developer Joseph Soley.
Several large retail spaces have been empty at Clarks Pond after Bob’s Discount Furniture, HomeGoods and Marshalls all moved to Scarborough last year, leaving the Cinemagic Grand movie theater and a couple of smaller stores in the shopping center off Gorham Road.
In addition to Urban Air, the Eastpoint Christian Church in Portland is also planning a move to Clarks Pond after purchasing the adjacent 92,000-square-foot space earlier this year.
Attractions at Urban Air typically include a foam pit, trampoline dodgeball, a trampoline runway, Slam Dunk Track, a toddler jump and more, according to the company’s website.
In addition, Dill said he plans to add a cafe offering items like pizza, French fries, mozzarella sticks and cold drinks, along with various seating areas and an adult lounge with free Wi-Fi.
Dill said the venue will also offer special events, including dodgeball nights, fitness classes, team events, teen nights, school fundraisers, corporate team-building and birthday parties.
Josh Reny, South Portland’s assistant city manager and economic development director, said the new Urban Air “is a wonderful proposed use for that space. It will attract many people from throughout the region to South Portland, which will likely create some economic spillover to other local businesses.”
Overall, he said, “It will be a great addition to the mix of retail and (other) services in the mall area.”
Although the concept – a franchise offering family friendly physical activity – will be new to South Portland, there are two other trampoline parks in Maine, including one in Portland.
Dill said he and his wife began to seriously consider the opportunity about 20 months ago, after visiting an Urban Air franchise out of state with their two teenage boys.
“We just thought it was really neat and a really cool activity for kids of all ages and ability,” Dill said this week. “It’s a way for them to have fun and not even know they’re exercising at the same time.”
The closest Urban Air Trampoline Park is in Connecticut, Dill said, adding that the South Portland location would be one of the company’s largest.
He said while “there’s still a lot of work to do, we hope to be open within the next 60 days. Definitely sometime this fall.”
Dill, who will oversee the day-to-day operations, hasn’t started hiring yet, but anticipates having jobs for between 45 and 60 mostly part-time employees.
Dill called the former Marshalls building a “perfect fit,” saying it was difficult to find “the right amount of footage in a quality spot,” but that the available space at Clarks Pond fit the bill, including offering ample parking.
“We lucked out finding this spot,” he added, while noting that 370,000 people live and work “within 15 minutes of us.” The whole goal in picking just the right spot, Dill said, was “to ensure a good experience for everyone.”
An overview of the Urban Air Trampoline Park in Oakland County, Michigan. A similar facility is planned for South Portland this fall.