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34 lanes plus more part of future Ten Pin Fun Center in Turlock

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POSTED June 2, 2012 2:09 a.m.

Turlock may soon be home to the Central Valley’s premiere bowling destination, but the definition of “soon” remains uncertain.

The planned Ten Pin Fun Center, a development to include bowling, laser tag, and a sports bar, was originally intended to open in September 2011.

Jim Theis, co-owner of the development, said Friday that developers are still working toward breaking ground on the mammoth entertainment development.

“It’s been lots of hard work and beating the bushes,” Theis said.

Once completed, the fun center is set to include a 34-lane bowling alley, a 4,000-square-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.

Following its 2010 announcement, the project drew rave reviews from countless Turlockers. Save for a few complaints regarding noise and traffic, the vast majority of speakers credited the project for bringing a needed amenity to Turlock.

“Even the most unbiased Turlock citizens, members of my bowing team, are looking forward to bowling here locally,” said Turlocker Peter Hooks at a November 2010 Planning Commission meeting.

But development has taken much longer than originally anticipated.

The Ten Pin Fun Center was approved by the Turlock City Council on Dec. 14, 2010. 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 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.

In February, 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. No such announcement came.

Even today, 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.

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.

“This project will fill a void in the local family entertainment options and satisfy a growing demand for family-based entertainment,” said Rod Scott, co-owner of Ten Pin Fun Center, when the project was announced. “We are excited about the overwhelming support and interest this project has received from everyone that has had an opportunity to review the project.”

 

– ALEX CANTATORE

209 staff reporter

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