A new indoor amusement center centered on trampolines planned by Barry Kern for a warehouse on Earhart Boulevard near the Superdome will be able to move forward after the City Council cleared the way for it last week.
Kern is planning “an indoor trampoline facility” inside a 51,000-square-foot warehouse at 3035 Earhart Boulevard, just off South Claiborne Avenue, according to the application he filed with the city.
“This facility would be the first of its kind in the city of New Orleans, and would represent a great addition to the family friendly entertainment options the city has to offer,” Kern wrote. “This request would not greatly alter the fabric of the zoning district, but, if granted, it would expand the options for families looking for a safe, supervised place for their children to play.”
Kern is CEO and President of Kern Studios, the company behind many of the floats that roll through the city during Mardi Gras.
The project is considered an “indoor amusement facility,” which was not previously allowed in the business-industrial park zoning district surrounding the address. Technically, Kern’s request before the city was to make an overall change to the industrial-park zoning to allow amusement facilities, which also include “movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, and indoor sporting exhibitions,” according to city documents.
City planners were in favor of the change, saying that amusement facilities are simply another business use within the range already intended by industrial parks.
“Indoor amusement facilities are considered a commercial use, and are not more harmful than other commercial or industrial uses permitted in the BIP District,” according to the planning report. “Staff believes that the addition of indoor amusement facilities as a permitted use compliments the character and intent of the BIP Business – Industrial Park District.”
The item drew two speakers in favor of it at Thursday’s meeting of the New Orleans City Council. Eugene Schmidt, one of the applicants for the project, agreed with city planners that an amusement place is a “natural extension of the base zoning,” and Tyler Robinson seconded his comments.
Without further questions or comments, the City Council voted in favor of the project.