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Posted on Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Official: Former Ypsi-Arbor Bowl to be demolished

By Tom Perkins


Ypsilanti Township officials want the former Ypsi-Arbor Bowl brought up to code. It has sat vacant for more than two years.

Tom Perkins | For

The owner of the former Ypsi-Arbor Bowl property says the building will soon be torn down.

Ypsilanti Township officials received notification of Troy-based Frankel Associates' intent this week. The property is at the intersection of Washtenaw Avenue and Golfside Drive.


Paneling on the side of the alley has been broken and is now boarded.

Tom Perkins | For

Mike Radzik, director of the township's office of community standards, said no date has been set and the township will soon be in communication with Frankel to determine one.

On June 6, the township sent Frankel notice of a litany of code violations on the property and asked that it respond to a request to bring the 3.3- acre property up to code or demolish the building within 30 days.

Hard economic times forced the 38,000-square-foot alley to close after 40 years in business in May of 2011 and it has sat vacant since.

Issues range from cosmetic to potentially serious. Cracks are appearing in the masonry and the township asked Frankel for an assessment from a structural engineer.

The windows have been boarded for more than 30 days, which is the limit per township ordinance, and many of those boards are serving as a canvas for graffiti artists. Tall weeds are growing out of the growing number of cracks and potholes in the parking lot, and broken paneling on the building’s exterior have been covered with boards.


Officials are not pleased that a boarded up bowling alley has greeted motorists entering the township at the intersection of Golfside Drive and Washtenaw Avenue for the last two years.

Tom Perkins | For

Ypsilanti Township Building Director Ron Fulton also expressed concern over the deteriorating light poles in the parking lot.

“The building is classified as blight and the blight has to be abated,” Fulton said.

A Frankel representative declined to comment.

The property is being marketed for sale or lease by the Mid America Realty Group. No price is available on the company's website and it's vice president, Adam Goodman, declined to comment.

In June 2012, Frankel told the township a national retailer would present redevelopment plans to the Ypsilanti Township Planning Commission, but the retailer chose a different location.

"We want to see the property brought into code compliance by repairing or demolishing the building and cleaning up the grounds," Radzik said. "If the owner chooses demolition, I hope the property will be well positioned for redevelopment. It is an important gateway to the community with extremely high traffic counts and visibility."

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Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the news desk at


Tim Hornton

Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 11:14 a.m.

I got robbed behind that place before (golfside apt), I hate that area of ypsi (township). Is the G-side liquor store still over there. That name always made me laugh everytime I saw that... And all the guys coming out with 40oz brown baggers there too, lol.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

Tim...I live on Bergen st in the neighborhood right behind it.The last time I saw a cop in my area was when my neighbor died a few years ago.The time before that was when his brother died in the same house about 7 years ago.Any more info you would like from me ? I'd give you my exact address but last time I did that my comment was deleted

Tim Hornton

Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

Its public record and you can look up the police reports. Myself and 3 other apts got robbed over a. Weekend. It was summer of 2006. Sheriff dept did the report. That place is a ghetto and the Gside has a ghetto name. I don't believe you for second you live over there because most anyone would not be proud to live there. That year long rent I had there couldn't end fast enough.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

Tim...I don't believe you for one second.I have been walking behind that place for 30 yrs never had even a close problem.I have never seen ANYONE come out of that party store with a brown paper bag.They don't even give bags if they do they are plastic.I live in that section of Ypsi township and it is one of the safest places there is.I would call your comment a down right lie. BTW...If I could figure out how to change my screen name to Tim Weber I would


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 6:51 a.m.

Well we know Frankel's got the money to tear it down, so financing won't be an excuse.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

So many good memories there. I grew up bowling there and my girls grew up bowling there. I still miss that alley.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 5:18 p.m.

Wow. Brenda has been busy getting rid of blighted buildings. Sorry to see this building go but it has been an eye sore for some time now. I agree with everyone here on one point. What are they going to do with the Farmer Jacks building?


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Laying my bet down right now that not long after demo, a Family Dollar will want to build right there, probably with a Walgreens, CVS Rite Aid, and/or a check cashing payroll advance place attached.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

What wrong with anew bowling lanes,it seems to be popular with a new group of fans

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

"The windows have been boarded for more than 30 days, which is the limit per township ordinance," can we do something about the former coney island/family resturant outbuilding in the kroger parking lot out on whittaker rd? there is a boarded up window, for months now. the weeds are well over the ordinance limit too.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

Ordinance - blight violations: use the contact link @ You will get a response so fast it will make your head spin. And they get the job done. Been there. Done that. Satisfied customer.

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

mikeyb64, trust me, i'm WELL aware of that link... and YES the township kicks butt when this stuff is reported.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

Call the ordinance dept in Ypsilanti Twp. They will take care of it. Trust you me. They will be on it like a ton of bricks.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Have at it dading dont delete me bro. They are quick to reply


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

Billy....they are both in Ypsi township


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Is that outside of the city limits though?


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

Sad. I used to bowl there when I was a kid. Biked over from Glencoe Hills for Saturday morning bowling league.. Isn't this the sort of property that "ReImagine Washtenaw" is supposed to be getting excited about? I know what I'd like to see at that corner but they should be looking at the whole of the four corners there as one project, instead of letting strip mall developers slap up some cheap trash. There's quite a large population within walking distance of that corner. They should be looking at how to get those people to walk over there rather than relying on parking lots and drivers.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 1:44 a.m.

You're absolutely right--there are several large apartment complexes just a block north on Golfside (at least one owned by McKinley). It would be an AMAZING community investment if something worthwhile found its home there. And even better if a proper new bus stop were installed once we're assured that the corner will finally be occupied.

Ann English

Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

You mean a lot of people live in that giant-size house on Golfside, just north of the BP station, and across Golfside from the Kmart? I know there are apartments on Golfside south of Washtenaw. Certainly a lot of people can walk to the corner from that direction.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 5:29 p.m.

Two of the corners are in Pittsfield and have busy gas stations.The corner across the street have K MART and some sort of auto shop .


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

What about the former Farmer Jack store across the street? That has been vacant for 6 years, three times as long as the Ypsi Arbor Bowl.

Katrease Stafford

Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

Here's the most recent story, written in March, about the Farmer Jack store: Joe Lawson, the township planner, told me he hasn't heard much from the owner of that property. Several entities have inquired about the property, Lawson said, but the issue was a lot of the proposals didn't align with the "vision" for the Washtenaw Avenue corridor. Also, some of the businesses only wanted half of the space, or less, and didn't need the entire 57,600 square feet.


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

The former Farmer Jacks is not falling apart it's still in good shape and they were always busy.They left when the company went out of business.I think the reason no one has moved in there yet is due to contractual issues


Sat, Jun 15, 2013 : 10:11 a.m.

I hope it does not take as long as the Georgetown Mall on Packard has taken. It is an eyesore. I took some pictures of the sign before it was sold off.