Western Queens bowlers said they were pinning their hopes on the development of a new alley at Glendale's Shops at Atlas Park after the lifestyle center's owner said he would consider including lanes in the mall's second phase.
Bowlers mourned the closing of Glendale's 50-year-old Woodhaven Lanes in May and said they have been forced to travel to northeast Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island to play the sport.
Damon Hemmerdinger, Atlas Park's development director, said he would be open to the inclusion of a neighborhood bowling alley in the shopping center's second construction phase, which has not yet been mapped out.
"We don't have finalized or fully developed plans for the second phase of development," he said. "But if there's a business deal to be made, we'd be very open to having a bowling alley as part of the project."
Hemmerdinger said the project's first phase, which includes 33 high-end retailers and 11 eateries at its Glendale site at 80-00 Cooper Ave., does not have enough room to accommodate an alley. He said discussion about the creation of a new alley is preliminary and not in a planning stage.
But bowlers said they hoped that Atlas Park would move to replace Woodhaven Lanes, a favorite spot for Brooklyn and Queens residents.
"We lost our league when Woodhaven Lanes closed," said Nicole Cumberbatch, a Brooklyn resident who once traveled to Glendale to bowl, but now drives to Long Island. "That was the place we'd go on Saturday evening. Now, we have nowhere to go [in Queens]."
Anthony Como, a city Elections Board commissioner who is currently leading in votes to replace Dennis Gallagher as city councilman for District 30, said he misses bowling at Woodhaven Lanes and would love to see Atlas Park open a new alley.
"I'd love to see a place where youngsters and their families can go that is safe and fun," he said. "I think Atlas Park would be a great place, so I'd love to see that dream become a reality."
He said that he had been in contact with a developer who was also looking for a location within the district, which covers Glendale, Middle Village, Ridgewood and Maspeth, to open a bowling alley.
Brunswick Corporation, the Virginia-based owner of Woodhaven Lanes, closed the alley in May after its lease expired. Bowlers who used the alley said they would now likely travel to Ozone Park's Cozy Lanes or Fresh Meadows' Jib Lanes to bowl.
In late April, Richmond Hills' Van Wyck Lanes also closed after the owner sold its lease. The unexpected closing of the 48-year-old alley left bowlers waiting in line to retrieve their equipment.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2008 Community News Group
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