Rocketown skate park in Antioch could open in 2023 for Christian teens
Christian teen outreach center Rocketown closed on a 45,000 square foot facility in Antioch this week in hopes of building a second center to serve Nashville youth.
Rocketown executive director Kenny Alonzo confirmed to the Tennessean his organization spent $4.75 million to buy the Calvary Logistics Building at 5255 Hickory Hollow Parkway.
There, the organization will replicate its downtown facility by building a new skatepark, concert venue, coffee shop, recording studio and outdoor facilities, Alonzo said.
The facility also would run after-school programming for teens as it does downtown.
“This new facility will expand on current operations to offer hope and change futures through Christ’s love,” said Alonzo.
Christian singer Michael W. Smith founded Rocketown 25 years ago to provide a safe place for teens to gather with adult supervision and without drugs or alcohol. Rocketown estimates it has served two million youth since.
The Metro Council member who serves Antioch, Joy Styles, called the news phenomenal.
“We are desperately in need in the southeast for family friendly entertainment for all ages. With Rocketown’s arrival, we will effectively change that,” Styles said.
“This is a boon for our youth. With Rocketown providing a skatepark, a recording studio, and after-school programs, we will effectively be changing their futures in a safe environment.”.
Rocketown won’t take possession of the property until February, Alonzo said.
By then, Rocketown officials hope to have city approval to begin construction, with a possible opening in 2023.
The next major decision for Rocketown — will it keep its downtown location at 601 Fourth Ave. S., a property likely worth more than $30 million?
There are no current plans to sell the property. But Alonzo said the board would weigh how to best serve the most youth.
“We’re going to do whatever we need to to serve more kids,” Alonzo said, “and kids who need us.”
Rocketown generates about half its $2 million annual revenue through renting its space to outside concert promoters and event planners. The rest comes from donations.
Reach Brad Schmitt at email@example.com or 615-259-8384 or on Twitter @bradschmitt.