Indoor soccer or tennis center in works for Peninsula Gardens site

Officials expect decision on use of site by the end of summer

Staff writerJune 18, 2014 

PenMet Parks is currently in the discussion phase of possibly using the Peninsula Gardens site for an indoor recreation center. An indoor soccer center is the most likely option, but a tennis facility is also under consideration.

LEE GILES III/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

An indoor soccer center or tennis facility could be coming to the Peninsula Gardens site on Wollochet and Filmore Drive NW.

PenMet Parks acquired the 10.5 acre property in 2012, and is currently having discussions about its potential use. The site is currently being used for a farmer’s market on the weekends.

Tacoma Screw Products, Inc., recently purchased the Gig Harbor Athletic Club, which includes the current indoor soccer center. While Tacoma Screw waits to utilize the property, its letting PenMet Parks continue to use and operate the indoor soccer center, but PenMet Parks is looking toward the future.

PenMet Parks director Terry Lee said they should be able to continue using the current indoor soccer center until around 2018. The indoor facility has proven to be of vital use to the community, for not only soccer, but other indoor recreation activities.

“This has turned out to be much more successful as a rec program than we expected,” Lee said. “It’s a huge service need in the community. It’s used for rec programs, birthday parties, lacrosse practice and practice for other types of programs. It isn’t limited to just indoor soccer.”

Another possible use for the site is an indoor tennis center, which would be covered and have six courts.

“It’s one of the possible uses that the board is grappling with,” Lee said. “The indoor soccer center probably ranks a little higher, in my opinion.”

If the board opts for the soccer center, the tennis facility could still be in the works, Lee said. PenMet Parks has some other properties that it could use for a tennis center at some point.

“We don’t feel it has to all be included at Peninsula Gardens,” Lee said. “There are other viable sites.”

Lee said the board is also looking for space for PenMet Parks administration offices, which could be placed at the site. The board has held three meetings, and is in the process of developing a conceptual plan.

“I expect to have a board decision by the end of summer,” Lee said.

Assuming the board gives the go-ahead on the plan for either the indoor soccer or tennis center, PenMet will start working on site development, preparing the location for a building. If everything goes smoothly, Lee said the building should begin construction in 2017 — possibly even 2016 — at the earliest.

The board will also have to identify funding for the project. Possibilities include going to the voters with a bond, or selling limited-tax general obligation bonds, like it did for the Sehmel Homstead Park project.

Whatever the site ends up being used for, PenMet Parks still wants to find a venue for the farmer’s market, even though it isn’t a huge revenue generator.

“The community has really rallied behind it,” Lee said. “Whatever we do up there, we want to be able to accommodate it.”

Jon Manley: 253-358-4151 jon.manley@gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_jon

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