Palatine boxing, martial arts business looking at new location
A Palatine boxing and martial arts business that had closed is looking to reopen in a new location in the village.
Palatine village council members Monday night are expected to consider a proposal from Rumi Maki Martial Arts and Fitness to take over vacant space at the Village Green Shopping Center at 297 N. Northwest Highway. Rumi Maki previously operated at Foxfire Plaza at Rand and Hicks roads, which is anchored by Butera Market.
Pedro Calla, a former boxer on Peru's national team, founded Rumi Maki in 2009. Rumi Maki originally operated out of World Gym Palatine and grew to a stand-alone operation at Foxfire Plaza.
Calla explained why he wants to open in the 6,250-square-foot space at Village Green during a recent Palatine zoning board of appeals public hearing. The advisory panel is recommending that the village council formally approve a special-use permit for Rumi Maki.
"Four months ago, I had to close my business on Rand Road, my last location," said Calla, a Wauconda resident who is a boxing and fitness trainer. "That location was actually too big for us. It was 12,000 square feet, the last one. And considering this situation with the pandemic, I starting thinking to get a smaller place."
Under the proposal, Rumi Maki would take over the space that was vacated by Master Dance about two years ago. Rumi Maki would offer fitness classes, children's boxing and taekwondo, kickboxing, boot camp, and beginner and advanced boxing classes.
In addition, Rumi Maki intends to have open gym hours for members as well as personal training.
Zoning board of appeals members voiced concerns about whether there would be a good traffic flow for parents who drop off and pick up their children for classes at Rumi Maki. To address the issue, Calla said he would develop a plan to ensure the traffic doesn't interfere with nearby businesses in the strip mall that include Kids Kustom Parties and Lou Malnati's Pizzeria.
"The petitioner is a good business person, a good athlete, and he trains his students very well," said zoning board of appeals Chairman Jan Wood, who co-owns JP Wood Martial Arts in Palatine Plaza. She said he "has a great business and it's a great business to keep everyone healthy, working strong. I'm very supportive of the business."
Calla was 15 when he started his boxing career in Lima, Peru, and rose to become national champion for seven consecutive years. He served as captain of Peru's national team and participated in the Pan-American Games and other high-level competition.
Ruki Maki plans to be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to noon Sundays.