UPDATE Sat March 25: Bowlmor AMF, owner of AMF Pro 300 Lanes, released a statement pledging to stay open in spite of MAJ Development's plans for the property. That full story is here.
Portland Business Journal reported today that the AMF Pro 300 Lanes—the landmark bowling alley on SE Powell Boulevard—is closing in May. [UPDATE: It's possible that the closure will happen sometime after May but before August of this year.]
Ugh, this sucks. The Powell Lanes are great. Now they're going the way of Interstate Lanes and Hollywood Bowl (RIP).
The thunk and crash of bowling balls and pins will go silent when the AMF Bowling Center at Southeast Powell Boulevard and Southeast 30th Avenue shuts down at the end of May.
In its place will eventually live a "national retailer," according to MAJ Development Corporation, which bought the 31,200-square-foot building in August for $4.8 million. The Vancouver developer noted in a release that AMF has leased the building and will vacate after the end of the current bowling league season, which wraps up in May. Redevelopment of the building will start in August.
Maybe something cool could take its place, though?
Stop your dreaming, you feeble-minded blockhead, replies Portland Business Journal. MAJ Development has secured a tenant but won't say who. But if we are to judge by their other clients, it will be something along the lines of "24 Hour Fitness, Gentle Dental, Starbucks, Panera Bread, 7-Eleven, and Subway."
So help me god, if one of the last old-school bowling alleys in this city turns into a Starbucks (actually not too likely, as there's one a few blocks east), there will be no abiding that. No abiding whatsoever. My guess is on a 24 Hour Fitness—it's quite a large property, so a Subway doesn't really make sense [UPDATE: Music Editor Ciara Dolan informs me that the 24 Hour Fitness on SE McLaughlin is, like, only five minutes away, so maybe not]—but either way...
UPDATE 7:14 pm: This announcement appears to be the first that some AMF staff have heard of the closure, and sources indicate the bowling alley was accepting new hires as recently as Thursday, March 16. However, posts on MAJ Development's website and Facebook page confirm the news that AMF will be vacating the building sometime before August. For those of you desperate for silver linings, MAJ also indicates that "nostalgic features" of the 1959 building will be retained:
MAJ Development Announces the Revitalization of a Classic Powell Neighborhood Building:
In August of 2016, MAJ Development Corporation acquired the 31,200-square foot building located at 3031 SE Powell Boulevard in Portland, Oregon. Currently it is leased to AMF Bowling Center.
Michael A. Jenkins, President of MAJ Development, recognized the barriers to entry in the dense urban market and anticipated the potential for future redevelopment. Understanding the location in conjunction to the nearly 100 parking stalls in the covered parking garage, not currently used under its current operation, MAJ plans on updating and upgrading the building without losing its nostalgic features.
After the current bowling league season concludes at the end of May, AMF will prepare to vacate. MAJ Development Corporation will begin the redevelopment of the building starting in August 2017. MAJ Development Corporation has secured a long term lease with a National Retailer who is taking the entire building; plans for the new tenant will follow at a later date.
We thank AMF Bowling Center for the years of fun and the memories they have created for their patrons.