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East Hempfield sports complex overcomes major hurdle

By , - Last modified: June 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM

A planned sports complex in East Hempfield Township that backers have dubbed the biggest such facility in the country received approval for a needed zoning text amendment Wednesday night, according to the township's manager.

Shadow Lawn Enterprises is working to occupy a roughly 600,000-square-foot distribution center at 2913 Spooky Nook Road with Spooky Nook Sports, an endeavor backed by Sam Beiler, former chairman and CEO of Auntie Anne’s Inc.

Township supervisors voted unanimously to grant the zoning text amendment to allow the complex and others that meet certain criteria to operate within certain industrial zones, township manager Robert Krimmel said.

The approval came instead of an alternative that would have rezoned the area with a commercial designation, he said.

Building permits are required for work on the indoor facility, and storm water permits would be needed for regrading, creating new parking or other potential outdoor work, Krimmel said.

Spooky Nook Sports could not be any more delighted with the decision, marketing director Ben Halvorsen said.

It allows the business to fully engage with clientele and implement its marketing strategy without the decision hanging over the efforts, he said.

Spooky Nook’s indoor space will include basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, a rock climbing wall, a weight room, aerobics and yoga training areas, an area for boxing, space for indoor field hockey and futsal, and pitching and batting cages, Halvorsen said.

There also will be a restaurant, a smoothie bar and a large retail presence, as well as on-site orthopedics, he said.

Outside on the 65-acre site will be fields for baseball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, rugby and soccer, as well as a large obstacle course, Halvorsen said.

The facility will target local clientele such as high school and college students and families, a regional and national base of sporting events to host, and Olympic and professional athletes to use the site for training, Halvorsen said.

Spooky Nook Sports expects to open the indoor complex by January, Halvorsen said.

Location of complex



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