Confusion over a bowling alley on S.E. Powell
Despite conflicting reports that the AMF PRO 300 Lanes bowling alley at 3031 S.E. Powell Boulevard would close in May, potentially becoming a small Target store, the real story appears to be confusion between "bowling season ending" and "lease ending" – or a landlord/tenant dispute, involving dates.
A March 25th flier posted at the bowling alley stated, "Bowlmor AMF, the owner of AMF Pro 300 Lanes, announced today its plans to continue operating its Portland bowling location, despite recent rumors and inaccurate reports of a possible May closure."
The handbill quoted Colie Edison, a representative for AMF, that "Local zoning officials have the power to determine whether this land will continue to be used as a safe fun-filled bowling entertainment center, or if it will be zoned for use as yet another big box retail location."
An April 5 report in The Oregonian newspaper reported that the site would be "turned into a small-format Target store by July 2018. The Minneapolis-based retailer confirmed Tuesday it had signed a lease for the building. . . It will move in after a significant renovation. . . Target said the 32,000-square-foot store would include groceries, a pharmacy, and other typical departments."
The AMF Pro 300 flier clarified that it "intends to stay open for its remaining lease term, and perhaps longer, despite claims from the building's new owner, MAJ Development Corporation, that the lanes would be shut down and its facility vacated by the end of May. The landlord has applied for a variance to have the land rezoned for use by . . . [Target] . . . however, the city has not ruled on the matter. A zoning decision by local officials will determine [the matter]."
Washington-based MAJ Development Corp. indeed did purchase the building last summer from AMF Bowling Centers, Inc. In response to the flier, Mercury's Blogtown reported that Michael A. Jenkins, President of MAJ, had said, "My direction in this development has not changed. The zoning outright permits my intended use moving forward. I am not in for any variance for zoning whatsoever."
A brief April 19 interview by THE BEE with Bob Farmer, General Manager of the Southeast Powell bowling alley, revealed that it has been open there since the late 1950's. "We have 36 lanes here, and most nights there are from 130 to 180 bowlers. I'm not authorized to talk about our future until the legal aspects are settled," he said.
The confusion appears to center on the fact that bowling league season play at the site ends in May, while redevelopment on the site is planned to begin sometime after August, when the current lease ends.
Developer Jenkins says, "We have reached out to Bowlmor inquiring as to the duration of the remainder of AMF's lease." Either way, at this point, it doesn't sound as if bowlers have much of a recreational future there.