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Buckley Council leases old Buckley Fire Station to CrossFit gym

The old Buckley Fire Station may no longer house the city's bravest citizens, but it will soon vie to hold the city's strongest. The City Council voted Dec. 11 to lease the space to SoZo CrossFit LLC in order to open a gym.

CrossFit is an exercise program originally developed in Santa Cruz, Calif. by Greg Glassman. It is best described as high-intensity circuit training with a focus on "functional movements" — lifts, pulls and pushes the person in training will encounter in the real world.

The original Crossfit, Inc. highlights its program's connection and benefits to the military, law enforcement and emergency worker community, frequently posting the photos and testimonials of soldiers on crossfit.com.

The city is leasing the fire station's estimated 3,500 square feet at 50 cents per square foot, or $1,750 in rent revenue per month for the first year.

The term of the lease is three years and, starting in the second year, rent is scheduled to adjust annually by no more than 5 percent either way in proportion to the Consumer Price Index published by the Department of Labor.

The council vote was eventually unanimous but, in discussion, Councilman James Montgomery expressed concern over a clause that would put the tenant first in line, under certain conditions, to purchase the property if the city sells.

"I have a little bit of a problem with giving them first right of refusal," he said.

In the lease contract, if the municipal government receives a purchase offer on the property and the council votes to sell, the city is obligated to provide SoZo CrossFit written notice of the deal. If SoZo CrossFit notifies the city within 30 days, it can preempt the other offer and purchase the property under the same terms of sale.

City Administrator Dave Schmidt reassured Montgomery that the first right of refusal clause was necessary to give the tenant an option to avoid being uprooted in the future.

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