Monday, May 10, 2010

Leader-Observer - From Pin Boys to La Z Boys by Daniel Bush - Leader-Observer

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The former Woodhaven Lanes building is one step closer towards its transformation into a major discount furniture store.

An attorney for Woodhaven Realty, which owns the shuttered Glendale bowling alley at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Metropolitan Avenue, appeared before the City Planning Commission April 28 to apply for a special permit for the site.

The permit would allow for a retail store in excess of 10,000 square feet.

Last month, Bob's Discount Furniture announced plans to open a branch at the site, which is conveniently located near a busy shopping mall and comes with a large, 42-space parking lot. The chain furniture store plans to renovate the building's exterior before opening.

“We're seeking a special permit for a retail space,” Weisbard, the attorney for Woodhaven Realty, said after the CPC hearing. He said now it's a matter of waiting on the commission's decision. “They'll be voting” later this month, he said. “We'll find out more at that time.”

Community Board Six approved the project in March, even before knowing who would take over the 50,000-square-foot bowling alley, which closed in 2008 after a successful 50-year run. At the time, CB6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio said the site was ripe for revitalization.

A new store would bring “jobs, an economic base, and a tax base,” to the area, he said.

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz is also supporting the venture.

“I look forward to the former Woodhaven Bowling lanes becoming a viable retail store,” Koslowitz said in a statement. “I am confident that the future occupants of the retail space will become responsible and respectful members of the community.”