Earlier this week, the Mercury and other media outlets reported that the AMF Pro 300 bowling alley on SE Powell would be closing later this year. Today, Bowlmor AMF, the owner of the AMF Pro 300 business, released the following statement, which contradicts the landlord's assertion that the bowling alley will close at some point after league play ends in May and redevelopment on the site begins in August.
Here is Bowlmor AMF's statement in full.
In response to Bowlmor AMF's statement, Michael A. Jenkins of MAJ had to say the following: "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." Jenkins, president of the Vancouver, WA-based company, confirmed via email earlier this week that the Mercury's initial report about AMF Pro 300's impending closure was accurate.AMF PRO 300 LANES RENEWS ITS COMMITMENT TO PORTLAND BOWLERS
Local Bowling Alley Pledges to Stay Open Despite Developer's Plans
Portland, Ore., March 25, 2017—Bowlmor AMF, the owner of 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.
AMF Pro 300 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 a yet unnamed "national retailer," believed to be Target, however the city has not ruled on the matter. A zoning decision by local officials will determine if the land will continue to be zoned for the community focused, family-friendly bowling center or if it will allow use by the unnamed "national retailer" the landlord hopes to put in place.
"Any rumors that we will close our center this May are absolutely false. AMF Pro 300 has served as a local landmark and gathering place for decades," said Colie Edison, a representative for AMF. "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," Edison continued. "We want to make it perfectly clear that we have no plans to leave this community any time soon. As far as we're concerned, it's bowling as usual."
We have reached out to Bowlmor inquiring as to the duration of the remainder of AMF's lease.
To clarify one point: Portland Business Journal, who were the first to report on this story, perhaps erroneously said that the alley would close in May, which is when the league play season ends. The Mercury initially echoed this point, but an addendum to our report clarified that the alley could stay open as late as August, which is when the redevelopment of the site is said to definitively begin. A May closure at this point does indeed seem very unlikely, and that's declared very plainly in Bowlmor's statement above, but the May date for closing the alley was never asserted by MAJ Development to the best of this reporter's knowledge.
So what's really going on here? In simplest terms, it's a dispute between a landlord and a tenant on a large and public scale. At any rate, it sounds like AMF Pro 300 will not go down without a fight, but its future is far from secure. More on this story as it develops.
The AMF Pro 300 Bowling Alley on Powell Is Going Away (Blogtown, March 21, 2017)
Leagues of Their Own: Bowling Used to Be Huge in Portland. But the Sport, and Its Players, Are Changing (Feature, July 6, 2016)