WYOMING — Aubrey and Michelangelo Ginocchietti have nearly everything they need to start their new business, Super Bounce LLC, in the Midway Shopping Center.
Zoning permits and approval? Check.
Certificate of occupancy? Check.
Signed lease? Almost.
The Ginocchiettis have been awaiting the return of their signed lease from the site owner, SIN Ventures Midway LP of Cinnaminson, N.J., since Oct. 31, they said. Aubrey Ginocchietti was told representatives from Price Chopper, an anchor tenant in the center adjacent to the proposed new business, are holding up the process due to concerns about potential increased traffic at the site.
The proposed business is a “bounce house” facility with customized inflatable structures and the ability to host children’s birthday parties. The inflatables have been ordered, and the family already has spent close to $6,000 on the project, Aubrey Ginocchietti said.
Mona Golub, vice president of marketing and consumer services for Price Chopper, confirmed the store’s parking concerns.
“We do have concerns, as we don’t believe there’s ample parking to accommodate (increased traffic),” she said. “We are currently working with the landlord to resolve the situation.”
The 4,797-square-foot proposed site of Super Bounce, next to a State Farm Insurance office, has been vacant for nine years, according to Aubrey Ginocchietti. Several calls to Kevin Cannon, of Kennedy Wilson, a real estate services company affiliated with SIN Ventures LP, and property manager Jim Watson, of Professional Realty Advisors, were unreturned at press time. The number of parking spaces at the facility was unavailable.
A special exemption hearing was held by the Luzerne County Zoning Board in August, at which time opponents of the project could have addressed concerns. A representative from the county zoning office said no one spoke against the project during the meeting.
According to county documents, the “request for a special exemption to operate a children’s entertainment facility … in a community business district” was approved by the board.
“I got, like, 50 texts with people asking, ‘When can we book (parties)?’” Aubrey said. “People can’t wait (for it to open).”
Aubrey, whose family includes 6-year-old triplets and a 5-year-old, said she believes the business will only be a benefit to the community.
She hoped to contract with Angelo’s Pizza, another tenant in the center, and other area businesses for services related to hosting children’s birthday parties at the facility, she said.
“We want to keep everything local and community-based,” she said.
It took the couple about two years to find the perfect spot for the business, Aubrey Ginocchietti said.
“The work to get this far was tremendous,” she said. “To be stopped at this stage in the game, it is so discouraging.”
Aubrey created an online petition in support of opening the business. She said she doesn’t want to give up on the site. She hoped to hold a soft opening this month.
“We can file to get our money back, but then we will lose our spot,” she said. “It will be like starting all over again. We’re trying to be patient.”
She met with the managers at the Wyoming Price Chopper, who seemed excited about the new business prospect, she said. It’s the corporate entity that’s delaying her enterprise’s planned opening, she said.
“A couple people suggested boycotting Price Chopper,” she said. “I know I’m ready to turn in my Advantage card. I spend a fortune there with four kids and my huge family.”
According to county documents, anchor tenants at the 266,737-square-foot Midway Shopping Center include Price Chopper, Dollar Tree, Burger King, The Bon-Ton, CVS, Rent-A-Center, PNC Bank and Verizon. The document lists five storefronts available, including one listed as “leased.” The empty storefronts account for 14,758 square feet.
Ownership of the property was transferred to SIN Ventures Midway LP from the former owner, Becker Associates, in 2005.