Backed by a team of construction, real estate, financing, and development professionals, Brenda Nolby, owner of Jam Hops, the popular gymnastics, dance, and cheerleading gym, sold a building and designed and built a brand new, mega-sized special purpose facility in Ham Lake.
Nolby says, “Every Project Has Little Bumps, but the Entire Team Worked Together to Make this New Building a Reality.”
The new 43,000 sf building combines programs and students previously in 3 separate locations into one amazing building. Since moving into the new facility, Jam Hops has seen 30% growth with 1,300 youth enrolled in classes every week compared to about 750 enrolled in just the recreational gymnastics at the previous location. In addition, 200-300 kids attend open gym, movie night, life skill clinics, day camps, and birthday parties every week.
Selling, Buying, & Building. The Logistics, Challenges, & Success
A lot of logistics were involved before the new Jam Hops building became a reality. From the sale of the previous building, design and construction of the new building to the challenges and changes in financing, Nolby persevered and was flexible. She suggests, “Just because you’re told one thing and it doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options. Select a good team, rely on their expertise, and your building will have the best chances to succeed.” Read more about the Planning of the New Jam Hops building here.
First, Jam Hops needed to sell the previous building in order to obtain financing, but equally important was the timing of the sale which was crucial to continue classes during construction of the new building. Marty Fisher, cofounder and broker at Premier Commercial Properties, was chosen to represent Nolby in the sale of the previous building as well as the purchase of the land for the new building. Nolby says, “Marty was more than a realtor. He went above and beyond on many occasions and really acted as a facilitator. His deep knowledge of commercial real estate transactions, development, and financing as well as his connections to a network of experts helped orchestrate the entire process including strategic financing.” For example, when Nolby’s bank couldn’t handle the revised size of the new building project, Fisher referred Nolby to Flagship Bank. And, when issues over watershed arose during City planning created delays, required unplanned meetings, and incurred additional engineering expenses, Fisher organized a meeting with the City to work through the issues, which resulted in a resolution that got the project back on track and saved money. “Marty didn’t have to do that,” Nolby says.
The project also required searching for land, planning, and designing a new building that could accommodate current needs and future growth as well as strategic financing that worked for a small business owner with a vision for a unique building.
Planning, Construction, & Financing of the New Building
Having worked with Stone Construction on projects for the previous building, Nolby chose Stone as the contractor for the new building as well, saying, “Paul Stone of Stone Construction met every request we had and was always very attentive.” The project was originally thought of in one way and when it evolved, it required new architectural drawings, new financing, a new construction plan, and additional funds. Nolby continues, “Stone was integral in the outcome. He showed he cared throughout the entire process giving advice, expertise, and solutions including a refined budget that helped the project succeed.”
Scott Schake of CMDC who provided the SBA loan also collaborated on how to get the financing done with special funds, like the EELP loan that replaced GAP funding for the down payment when changes and challenges arose, like other funding fell through and when the buyers of the previous building bought on a contract for deed, which required only 10% down and not the 20% that was originally planned.
Ham Lake Development provided a solution for a low interest loan so that additional equipment could be purchased to outfit the new mega-facility.
Even Nolby’s attorney, accountant, and insurance agent were part of making the project successful. From her lawyer, Jim Bumgardner of Bumgardner Law Firm who gave valuable information and guidance; her accountant, Jenny Pekula of Bertolas & Pekula, who helped plan cash flow, and her insurance agent who was attentive to multiple phone calls and requests.
Nolby attributes the project’s success to the expertise and attention to detail that each of the professionals contributed – from the real estate professional, construction expert, and architect to the multiple financing sources, city planners, accountant, attorney, and others.
Jam Hops New Building Highlights
- 43,000 sf building with 25,000 sf main gymnasium
- All programs in one building – Gymnastics, Dance, Cheer, Ninja Zone, Leap-N-Learn Academic Preschool, Theater and extra activities and events
- State of the art gymnastics space with 3 spring floors, multiple training pits, and 4 trampolines
- Pro Shop
- Large family viewing areas
- Expanded restrooms with additional “family” bathrooms
- 200-stall parking lot with security cameras. Extra wide stalls designed to give more room for getting kids in and out of cars
- Pull through child drop off lane
- Paved walking path to nearby park
- Expansive green space areas for campers and guests to enjoy the outdoors
- Picnic tables under a canopy in the front of the building
- Anytime Fitness is a tenant – a great opportunity for parents to work out while their children are at Jam Hops having fun!
More About Jam Hops and the Team of Experts
About Jam Hops | Ham Lake, MN
With a mission to teach children lifelong skills that go beyond physical activity, Jam Hops also incorporates teaching a different life skill each month like respect, leadership, self-confidence, and team work in a safe place for kids with a family atmosphere where kids feel important. Started in 1997 as a gymnastics training and competition gym, Jam Hops grew to offer dance programs and cheerleading. Leap-N-Learn Academic Preschool program was added in 2007 and currently has 30 children who participate in the academic curriculum that includes learning numbers, letters, writing, story time, scientific learning, play time, and gymnastics every day.
Giving back is important to Jam Hops who donates ALL open gym procedes and Pro Shop profits to community organizations like Stepping Stones, Hope for Youth, Alexandra House, Youth First Community of Promise, NACE Food Shelf and more.
In addition to gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, and preschool, Jam Hops also offers extra-curricular activities that encourage kids to stay active plus unique programs like movie night, open gym, Light Night Open Gym on Sundays, and birthday parties. Learn more about Jam Hops at jamhops.com/
About Premier Commercial Properties
Premier Commercial Properties in Ramsey, MN specializes in commercial real estate including retail, office, multi-family housing, warehouse, and industrial properties as well as development in the Minneapolis north metro area. Premier’s real estate brokers provide expertise to buy, sell, or lease properties as well as other commercial brokerage services, investment real estate, asset management, consulting, and property management. Learn more about all of our services at premiercommercialproperties.com
CMDC is an SBA Premier Certified Lender (PCLP) authorized to provide SBA 504 loans and other SBA and business financing programs throughout Minnesota. As a Premier Certified Lender, we have in-house loan approvals to meet your most pressing deadlines. Less than 10% of the certified development companies (CDCs) in the United States have the PCLP designation. CMDC is committed to promoting economic development by cultivating a financing environment that allows MN small businesses to grow and prosper. We coordinate your project from start to finish, working with business owners, lenders, and real estate brokers to ensure seamless execution. CMDC provides business loans and financing services to businesses and bank lenders including:
SBA 504 Loans
SBA 7(a) Loan Packaging Assistance
VetLoan Advantage Program
Learn more about CMDC at cmdcbusinessloans.com
About Lampert Architects
Since 1980, Leonard Lampert Architects P.A. has been designing projects across the Midwest. The success and longevity is the result of an ability to serve as a trusted and valued team member. A vast portfolio demonstrates competence and expertise in a wide assortment of building types and construction methodologies. Distinctive, sustainable design is the cornerstone of Lampert Architects’ vision. We listen to your thoughts and focus on your goals. Our award-winning LEED certified staff delivers enduring, quality design solutions that respond to both your needs and to the environment. Read more about Lambert Architects at lampert-arch.com
About Stone Construction
Stone Construction Inc. knows that architecture is more than designing buildings. We work with clients to craft memorable spaces. We are a Commercial General Contractor in Blaine offering construction management, design/build, and concrete/masonry. Family Owned and Operated for over 50 years! Read more about Stone Construction at stoneconstructioninc.com
About Flagship Bank
Thinkers and makers are the engine of America’s economy. We specialize in working with creative entrepreneurs and businesses, but as a local bank, we know you. Stop in and let’s talk about what you need to make your dreams reality. We’ve been at this since 1875 and have served clients in several distinct niches — from nonprofit organizations to real estate investors, manufacturers, retail businesses, and professional firms— through a high level of service, trust, and value.. Read more about Flagship Bank at flagshipbanks.com
About Ham Lake Development
The Ham Lake Development Company (HLDC) is a non profit (501C3) organization that’s mission is to offer low interest loans to businesses moving into Ham Lake or for expansion of current businesses. This helps to improve the local commercial development while creating new jobs at the livable wage rates, therefore improving the overall local economy in the Ham Lake area. The HLDC also offers the Ham Lake Beautification Grant. The purpose of this program is to offer financial incentive for businesses to improve the aesthetic appearances of commercial buildings within the City of Ham Lake. The goal is to achieve better curb-appeal and to create higher property values. Learn more about Ham Lake Development at hldc.org