Last week's announcement that retailers Old Navy and ULTA Beauty are soon headed to Turlock's Monte Vista Crossings had Turlockers abuzz.
But it also had Turlockers asking: What happened to the planned Ten Pin Fun Center, a development to include bowling, laser tag, and a sports bar?
Jerry Powell, project developer, declined to comment on the record regarding the project's status, but expressed optimism and said to expect a formal announcement in the coming weeks.
The Ten Pin Fun Center was approved by the Turlock City Council on Dec. 14, 2010, despite some neighbors' concerns about noise and traffic. At that time, developers said the nearly 52,000 square-foot family entertainment center would open in winter 2011.
In March 2011, developers announced via the project's Facebook page and Turlock Home Finder's quarterly newsletter - operated by Ten Pin co-owner Jim Theis - that construction would begin summer 2011, with a spring 2012 opening. A June 2011 Turlock Home Finder newsletter stated construction would begin fall 2011, with a summer 2012 opening.
But construction has yet to begin on the development, slated for the "L"-shaped parcel of land behind Rite-Aid at the intersection of Crowell Rd. and Monte Vista Ave. Once completed, the Fun Center is set to include a 34-lane bowling alley, a 4,000 sq. foot multi-level laser tag arena, an arcade with approximately 75 games, a sports bar and grill with seating for 200 guests and a two-story Jumbotron, shuffle board, three outdoor bocce ball courts and outdoor dining.
Past Journal calls to Ten Pin developers have revealed that financing issues have forced delays in construction, with little further elaboration.
According to a 2011 American Institute of Architects report, construction spending on private projects has declined by more than one-third since the end of 2008. A lack of financing opportunities was cited as a "significant factor" preventing private construction.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported real estate construction loans fell for the 14th consecutive quarter in third quarter 2011, the most recent quarter data is available, declining by $20.3 billion
And when banks are lending, they're requiring more equity capital from developers, per commercial lender databank c-loans.com. Where 10 percent equity was previously enough to secure a loan, banks now require developers to cover 40 percent of the construction cost - or more.