Jacksonville, FL (March 11, 2019) – A new athletic facility has opened in District 11, and unlike most athletic businesses, this multi-use property is home to dozens of sports teams and programs.
ABOVE Athletic Center opened in August of 2018 with four main tenants, Above Basketball Academy, First Coast Gymnastics, Five Tool Training and MaxFit South. The facility is located on the south end of Phillips Highway, which has been convenient for residents from both Duval and St. Johns County to experience and become part of the programs offered there.
“The ABOVE Athletics facility is a state-of-the-art youth sports complex”, stated Councilman Becton. “This type of facility is in high demand and provides flexibility of uses for many team sport options that are becoming big business in and around District 11”. Councilman Becton explained.
Councilman Becton toured the ABOVE facility with its Leasing and Managing Partner & Owner, Jay Glatting, on Monday March 11th. According to its website, the vision of the facility is to evolve “Above Athletics-trained athletes who are known for their extraordinary talent, unwavering character, and leadership ability, making them not only strong in their sport, but an asset to their community.”
In order to make that vision a reality, ABOVE’s business plan focuses on three key components: affordable leases, quality coaching and year-round programs that value the facility. The current tenants are successful, elite businesses that were established in Northeast Florida before opening a location at ABOVE, but Glatting said the facility also targets start-up athletics. During the leasing process, Glatting said he looks for local tenants with emerging sports programs that aspires to grow into a thriving business with thriving athletes.
“We want them to succeed,” Glatting said.
“Having seen the opportunity and demand that youth sport is having in our area, it is private investors who are stepping forward to solving these needs”, Councilman Becton noted. “Youth sports including baseball, football, soccer, and volleyball among many others are all putting pressure on our public park facilities, maxing out and over utilizing their resources.”
The use of each space at ABOVE is nearly unlimited. Glatting said each tenant sets and operates their own programs. For example, during Councilman Becton’s tour, a kid’s yoga class was being held on Above Basketball Academy’s indoor basketball courts. This is just one of the many athletic activities conducted by outside organizations and sports teams. 5 Tool Training is another tenant at ABOVE, who leases the covered turf and office space on the far-right side facility. 5 Tool started as a softball program, but it now has dozens of outdoor sports programs, boot camps and birthday parties occupying the turf daily.
Laura Taylor, the owner of 5 Tool training, said since opening a location at ABOVE, 5 Tool Training is no longer limited to just one or two sports. She said the turf is constantly occupied, and it can be divided by netting to allow multiple programs to use the area at the same time. She said they are usually busy with all the different sports practices and training on weekdays, and birthday parties on the weekend. Taylor said they’ve hosted roughly 60 birthday parties over the last six months at the ABOVE location.
“The ABOVE facility is making great use out of their space and location,” Councilman Becton observed. “They are already looking to expand providing more opportunity to diversify their offerings and to help support more programs.”
Glatting said there is a lot of potential in the undeveloped land that surrounds ABOVE, but it is not going to waste. ABOVE had a groundbreaking for a Phase II in January, which is expanding the facility another 26,000 square feet. The area has already been cleared at the front of the current building, but it will soon be developed into a three-story building made up of a variety of new businesses.
Glatting said the first floor will consist of medical tenants, such as a doctor’s office, dentist, physical therapy and cryotherapy. The second floor will be made up of studios for dance classes, and possibly Karate and Jujitsu. The plans for the third story involve a rooftop playing surface and netted area, which could be used for fitness or events. Even though Phase II is still in its beginning stages, Glatting said they have several units already leased out.
Glatting said ABOVE is used by many St. John’s County groups, but there is still so much opportunity for Duval County. Phase II is expected to be completed this winter, and he said they are also working on plans to open two additional locations to even serve more athletes and businesses in Northeast Florida.