Developers of the proposed Ten Pin Fun Center – an entertainment center featuring 34 bowling lanes, laser tag, and bocce ball – hosted a community meeting on Thursday to solicit public feedback on the development, but few nearby residents attended the informal gathering.
“We sent 180 invites to neighboring properties to share our vision of what Ten Pin Fun Centers is going to look like,” said Jim Theis of Central Valley Property Investments, LLC.
Despite the large number of invitations, only three members of the public attended the meeting.Those present received a detailed explanation of the 51,828 sq. ft. Ten Pin Fun Center project, planned for an “L”-shaped patch of vacant land behind the Rite Aid shopping center at the corner of Crowell Road and Monte Vista Avenue.
The development consists of the entertainment center and two outlying, 5,000 sq. ft. pads intended for retail or restaurants. The Ten Pin Fun Center will include the aforementioned 34 bowling lanes, a multi-level laser tag arena, an arcade, six banquet rooms for parties, two bocce ball courts, and a sports bar and grill with a two-story Jumbotron and patio seating.
The only complaint came from a resident who appreciated the idea of the project, but questioned the noise the center might generate.
Central Valley Property Investments, LLC managing partner Rod Scott said the design is intended to mitigate noise concerns, with curved driveways to reduce vehicle speed and a landscape buffer between the Fun Center and nearby houses. The location of the development – bordered by a park on the north side, Monte Vista Avenue on the South, Crowell Road on the East and vacant land on the west – is also expected to reduce noise impacts, as there are no immediate residential neighbors.
Scott said he met with City Manager Roy Wasden early in the planning process, and Wasden, formally the Modesto Police Chief, reported few noise complaints at Modesto’s McHenry Bowl or Yosemite Bowl. Scott assured attendees that Ten Pin Fun Center staff will not be a home to troublemakers and noisy drunks.
“We’re not going to attract, hopefully, that kind of person. But if we do, we have the security to deal with them,” Scott said.
Scott said the development team looked at nine sites before settling on the proposed location. The Monte Vista Avenue and Crowell Road site won out due to its proximity to California State University, Stanislaus, easy access for children due to bike lanes, and few residential neighbors.
The purpose-built site was preferable to existing buildings, such as the abandoned home of Mervyns on Geer Road, as bowling alleys require specialized construction. The Mervyns building, in particular, suffered from load-bearing columns which would have interfered with lane placement, a concrete floor inappropriate for bowling lanes, and, perhaps most importantly, the owners of the Mervyns site did not want to sell the property outright.
Upon completion, the Ten Pin Fun Center is expected to operate from 9 a.m. to 12 midnight daily. The 26 main lanes would be home to league play – ranging from daytime senior leagues to afternoon junior leagues and night scratch leagues – from Monday through Wednesday, possibly including Thursdays, while eight “boutique” lanes, replete with couches for bowlers to relax, would be open to walk-in bowlers or private parties.
Should all go according to plan, the Ten Pin Fun Center will go before the Turlock Planning Commission for approval at their Nov. 4 meeting. The City of Turlock will notify property owners of the public hearing in mid-October.
Construction could begin as soon as March, with the Ten Pin Fun Center welcoming its first guests in fall 2011.
Scott and the other developers at Central Valley Property Investments, LLC, have a rigorous construction schedule ahead of them, but they also face another challenging task. While two bocce ball courts play heavily into the facility’s design, Scott has never rolled a pallino in his life.
“I have no idea how to play, but we’re going to learn,” Scott said.
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