End of an era: Ypsi-Arbor Lanes bowling alley on Washtenaw will close May 1
Ypsilanti will lose its only bowling center when Ypsi-Arbor Lanes closes by May 1.
The building has hosted a bowling alley for decades. The Ypsi-Arbor Lanes website pegs its start at 1971. But the distinctive sign out front has been a Washtenaw Avenue landmark at the western edge of Ypsilanti Township since at least 1964.
The operator is Kenneth Kubit, and the business based in Livonia, according to state filings.
Ray Bonkowski, center manager for the bowling alley, said a letter to customers read, “We have become a byproduct of tough economic times.”
Bonkowski referred other questions about the closing to Kubit, who has not yet returned calls from AnnArbor.com. Bonkowski also said that all of the bowling equipment will be removed from the building when the business closes.
The property is owned by Frankel Associates, based in Troy, and it’s registered to Samuel Frankel. A representative at that office said the company does not comment for media reports, so there’s no indication of what’s next for the property.
The building had an assessed value of $604,500 in 2010, down from $960,500 a year earlier. That makes its estimated market value $1.2 million, based on 2010 assessments.
Meanwhile, all league customers have been informed of the pending closure, Bonkowski said. Many people are not happy about it, he added.
“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls,” Bonkowski said. “They’re saying Ypsilanti deserves a bowling alley.”
Several bowling allies exist in nearby communities, including Colonial Lanes in Ann Arbor, Bel-Mark Lanes in Scio Township, Chelsea Lanes in Chelsea and Maplewood Lanes in Saline.