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08-13-2007, 07:46 PM #1
Exclusive Preview: Golden Gate Badminton Club 2, Emeryville.
Exclusive Preview: Golden Gate Badminton Club 2, Emeryville.
Author: Kwun Han, BadmintonCentral.com
This past Friday, Mike Yang, the owner of Golden Gate Badminton Club (GGBC) gave BadmintonCentral.com an exclusive preview of his new facility in Emeryville, California. Affectionately named GGBC2, the new club is another example of how Mike is at the forefront of badminton club design and a visionary at that.
When I said exclusive preview, I mean exactly that. Apparently before my visit, the only persons in the world who has step foot into GGBC2 are Mike, Sally and the construction workers who works there. Mike told me that none of his GGBC staff and coaches knows what the gym look like. I was under a lot of pressure.
GGBC2 is located in Emeryville, a thriving town in the northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area. Sandwiched between the towns of Berkeley and Oakland, Emeryville is situated at a busy junction between highway I-880, which leads to the south, I-80, which leads to the north and west into San Francisco, as well as I-580 which leads to the inland valley to the east. Emeryville has recently expanded rather rapidly, N. California's first IKEA is situated there as well as a brand new Bay Steet Emeryville shopping area with high class retail outlets.
GGBC2 sits in an industrial zone in the middle of all these new development, it is only 5 mins walk from IKEA and just a couple minutes more from Bay Street. Across the main street we can see a Best Buy and a block away is the campus of the famous Pixar Studio. Wouldn't it be great to buy some new electronics in Best Buy and then hop over for a few badminton games in GGBC2? A plot of manufacturing site just 1/2 block from GGBC2 will soon be demolished and turned into a public park.
Location, location, location, GGBC2's has gotten that one to perfection. Mind you though, that this did not come without a lot of patience, over the course of many months, Mike visited numerous sites before he found the 4230 Hubbard Street location.
After we arrived at GGBC2, we were greet with a humble entrance at the northwest end of the industrial building. GGBC2 occupies 1/6 of the large building.
A few steps up the entrance, I see a huge space that will hold 8 badminton courts in a 2x4 configuration. The 8 badminton courts are complemented by a custom built restroom area to the right and a registration, pro-shop, and office area to the left.
The main court area is very spacious, current GGBC members will be relieved to see ample sitting and walking space between courts. No corners were cut when the court surfaces were laid out. Mike ensured that even the extreme claustrophobe will rush over to sign up as a member of GGBC2. Patrons will not need to scuttle sideways when going between courts in case they accidentally disrupt a tightly fought rally.
GGBC2 members will be greeted with a high ceiling similar to the one in GGBC. Has anyone been able to hit the ceiling in GGBC Menlo Park yet? I failed to do it in a regular rally no matter how hard I tried. It will be no different here in GGBC2.
As an avid photographer specializing in badminton events, I have in many times commented on the inadequate lighting for photo shooting at GGBC Menlo Park. As it turned out, Mike did take my endless suggestions to heart and the lighting in GGBC2 is the result of it. Maybe he was just sick of me talking about the light in GGBC. I almost hugged him (I did not) after i see the very brightly lit space. I was about to sent him a bill for my brand new low light capable camera i bought so i can actually get some nice action photos from his club, I guess now I have to save that bill to myself.
The new color scheme in GGBC2 resonates very well with the young and energetic feel of the Emeryville area, a combination of badminton-esque color as well as a lively and chic color palette. Patrons will be so filled with energy inside the 14,000 sq foot gym they will be jumpsmashing from point 1 to point 15 (or 21 if that's your cup of tea). I have previously mentioned in BadmintonCentral that i will throw up if i see another dark green badminton gym, well I am glad to report that i didn't leave any biowaste in the gym floor.
Oh and talking about jumpsmashing, I cannot forget to mention the floor, which is the heart of any badminton gym. GGBC2 will use the Robbins floor company to lay the flooring in Emeryville. Currently used in GGBC Menlo Park, Robbins is one of the best badminton floor that I have tried.
As a design major, Mike has given GGBC2 a very clean, lively and efficient design. How appropriate as it is like that Swedish furniture store next door but with a lot more quality attached.
So there was a lot of accolade for GGBC2, and it deserves it as Mike's new baby has really lived up to my expectations. Mike has put the bar really high as GGBC Menlo Park was already one of the best designed badminton club with very fine attention to detail, quality material and construction. Without any surprises, I believe Mike successfully raise the bar a notch higher and I hope everybody will agree with me when they see the final product.
Where are the criticisms? Well for one, it is too far from where i live, which is too bad as that probably means you won't see me there very often (sorry Mike). What's taking so long? When will it be opened? There are a lot of attention to detail and such takes time. Mike said that construction is going as scheduled but Mike wants it to be perfect and thus he cannot guarantee an opening date, it will be done when it is done.
Where are the photos? Unfortunately that's where i came short. Mike wants the brand new design and look of GGBC2 to be a big surprise to everybody. I personally want to let everybody know exactly how the gym will look like but I also have to respect MIke's wishes. After my endless begging and persuasion, Mike did allow me to leak a single photo which will show part of the color scheme of the new gym. After you see the color, you might to wonder, "has Mike gone mad?" well, you will find out for yourself when GGBC2 opens and maybe you will be surprised also.
Address: 4230 Hubbard Street, Emeryville, CA 94608
Courts: 8 regulation size badminton courts
Opening date: unknown.
Kwun Han is a reporter, editor and owner of BadmintonCentral.com. A born badminton fanatic he eats, dreams, writes and photo badminton for fun. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
08-13-2007, 07:47 PM #2
so there is my trip report to GGBC2. i am at work now and i will post the photo tonight...
08-14-2007, 01:16 AM #3
here is the only photo i am able to post. it shows one of the color used in the club...
08-14-2007, 01:29 AM #4
08-14-2007, 01:43 AM #5
08-14-2007, 12:50 PM #6
Wow...a low profile coverage..
...for the newest Northern California badminton facility..So low in profile coverage that kwun is hiding all the pictures ALL TO HIMSELF....
Anyways, looking forward to the final completion of the facility(hopefully soon) and of course, for kwun to unleash all the photos for us to see & enjoy..
08-14-2007, 12:58 PM #7
I think it's time for me to plan a trip to SoCal/NoCal within the next 2 years... Need to check out these facilities.
Thanks for the update Kwun.
08-14-2007, 01:16 PM #8
08-14-2007, 01:19 PM #9
08-14-2007, 01:25 PM #10
08-14-2007, 03:43 PM #11
08-14-2007, 10:20 PM #12
lol, thats the point, ya know ;]
still, i hope thats not the main color, since it might blend with the birdie...
08-15-2007, 12:38 AM #13
08-16-2007, 10:59 PM #14
Thank You Kwun!
Hello BC Friends!
We are very happy that Kwun enjoyed his trip to GGBC 2 and want to Thank him very much for writing such a nice article on our Club. I was more than honored to be his "Host" for the day in introducing our humble GG2. We do hope when the club opens that we can live up to Kwuns great comments (he's given us much pressure!!), and that you will enjoy the club as much as he did. Well... I can only say.. we will do our best to give you what we think is the best! We can't wait to give you the opening date! Please stay tuned at Badminton Central and see you ALL VERY SOON!!
Our Best to you, Mike Yang
09-08-2007, 03:47 AM #15
Mike told me that construction is almost complete or already completed so he is inviting me back to take more pictures. come on, we need to give him pressure to let me publish more photos this time.
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