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Do You Want A Bowling Alley At Evanston Plaza?

So far, more than 100 people have signed a petition to bring a bowling alley to Evanston Plaza, at the intersection of Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue.

Would you like to see a bowling alley in Evanston? 

If you answered yes, you're among good company. More than 100 people so far have signed a petition on Change.org requesting that the owners of Evanston Plaza bring a bowling alley to the shopping center at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue.

"Evanston needs a bowling alley to bring residents together, to reinvigorate the West Side of town, and to provide a much-needed outlet for the youngest members of our community," writes Patch columnist Christine Wolf, who started the petition.

More than 100 people had signed the petition within the first week on Change.org, saying bowling is a family friendly activity that would bring much-needed life to a shopping plaza with too many vacancies.

"We need more indoor activities for youth and families in Evanston," wrote Evan Girard. "Bowling is something all ages and fitness levels can enjoy."

"We need a bowling alley in Evanston and Dempster Dodge needs life," wrote Dickelle Fonda.

"The high school has bowling teams," Betsy Gutstein pointed out. "It would be great for them to be able to practice in Evanston."

Since city council members approved the enabling ordinances last summer, the Dempster-Dodge shopping plaza has been designated as a tax-increment financing (TIF) district. Chicago-based real estate firm Bonnie Investment Group, LLC, purchased the plaza in December 2011.

The TIF plan approved by aldermen calls for $20 million in tax-increment financing over  23 years, including $3 million in utility improvements, $4 million in parking facilities and landscaping, $4 million in site preparation and demolition, and $4.75 million in rehabilitation of current structures. Council members also earmarked up to $2 million in "short-term redevelopment needs" for Bonnie Investment Group, including utility upgrades and other site work.

Would you like to see a bowling alley in Evanston Plaza? Tell us why, or follow this link to see the petition on Change.org.

lucas February 19, 2013 at 04:35 PM
I think a Dave & Busters Restaurant, Bar and Arcade for Fun
Lora Swanson February 19, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Our entire extended family bowls regularly at Waveland Bowling Alley, but would much prefer to be right here in Evanston.
millie February 19, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Have you tried the: The Wilmette Bowling Center Inc
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) February 19, 2013 at 08:34 PM
"Absolutely!" Chandra Thomas posted on Facebook. "The city lied years ago when that strip mall was originally built and said they were going to put either a skating rink or some recreational type of building there to enable residents to have somewhere to go without going to another city to do it. Long overdue!
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) February 19, 2013 at 08:34 PM
"No who's going to pay for it" Barry Djelbee Horton wrote on Facebook.
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) February 19, 2013 at 08:35 PM
"Yes! I think a bowling alley would do great business in Evanston," Marci Rubin wrote on Facebook.
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) February 19, 2013 at 08:35 PM
"The owner of the bowling alley should pay for it," Trinda N. Weaver replied on Facebook.
mark sloane February 19, 2013 at 10:04 PM
The whole center should focus on being a health and entertainment complex. Dance Center Evanston is a great anchor, but I could envision a martial arts facility, a personal training gym, indoor golf, indoor batting cages, indoor volleyball, bowling alley, etc. Convert it to a destination complex, which will also stimulate additional restaurants and it could be very successful. Instead of the TIF spending money on infastructure, let's create incentives to bring the right businesses to the Center.
John February 19, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Evanston bowling alley yes. There must be a better location--how about closer to the movieplex area and create an entertainment zone (movies, bowling, restaurants...) If would make it easier to draw in the NU students as well.
millie February 19, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Did anyone bother to find out what the OWNERS ARE UP TO?
lucas February 19, 2013 at 10:15 PM
I am not even sure those stores are deep enough for a bowling alley Perhaps all those thinking its a good idea SHOULD JOIN TOGETHER and open one.
lucas February 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM
I suspect that putting a bowling alley has been looked at by investors and Evanston even with it being a College town didn't work well
lucas February 19, 2013 at 10:33 PM
its not well located to other burbs to feed this type of business
John R February 19, 2013 at 10:37 PM
I certainly wouldnt put it anywhere on dodge
Sim Elwood February 19, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I want a bowling alley but I am willing to bet Dominic's will block it. Their first right of refusal is based on blocking anything where the patrons are there for more than 45 minutes.
Jim Osburn February 19, 2013 at 11:51 PM
If not a bowling alley, how about a Lazer Tag complex, this wouldn't require such a large build out. Oops, just realized that Lazer Tag is make believe shooting.with play guns--a big NO NO in our beloved Evanston. Maybe that's also why there is a knee jerk opposition to bowling, reminds some folks of a cannon ball mowing down those ten "soldiers."
millie February 20, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I would prefer a Nordstrom's, Macys or Bloomingdales perhaps s a small tiffany's
lucas February 20, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Sim do you know that for a fact? Do you bother to read what is said on other posts on Patch?
michael February 20, 2013 at 03:45 PM
ETHS had a bowling alley when I went there in the 1960's and having one over on Main Street would be great. I hope our city government can make it happen with this TIF district
Sim Elwood February 20, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Yes I do read the other posts on the patch. I heard this from a member of the city council...not on the patch. I do respect Dominic's right of refusal but am very disappointed with their unwillingness to fill the mall.
lucas February 21, 2013 at 12:56 AM
@sIM Did you read the article Christine Wolf wrote after she interviewed City Manager. I am sure Dominick's would like more businesses in that Mall just like everyone else. That mall has been a problem for years and was one prior to Dominick's opening up.
Sim Elwood February 21, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Yes I read the article but I am referring to a statement made to my by the alderman in a face to face conversation. By the way, nobody in Evanston government reads these posts. Blab all you want on the Patch but unless you call to talk to them they won't listen.
anonymous February 21, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I wonder if the city has ever considered a year-round indoor market a la Milwaukee's Public Market (http://www.milwaukeepublicmarket.org/main.html) or the Chicago French Market in Ogilvie (http://www.frenchmarketchicago.com/).
lucas February 21, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Pike Place in Seattle is another.
lucas February 21, 2013 at 06:40 PM
@ Sim Ok Not surprised that the Council doesn't scan the comments on a couple of Evanston sites. One member complained about tone of public comments recently. So pretty sure they wouldn't want to see some posted here.
Tea February 22, 2013 at 11:32 PM
A roller skating rink would be so much fun!!! A bowling alley is a great idea as well.
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) March 13, 2013 at 06:49 PM
We've got an update from the company that owns Evanston Plaza. They say a bowling alley is unlikely. Here's why: http://evanston.patch.com/articles/bowling-alley-unlikely-at-evanston-plaza-owner-says
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) March 13, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Great question, Millie. Here's the answer: http://evanston.patch.com/articles/bowling-alley-unlikely-at-evanston-plaza-owner-says
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) March 13, 2013 at 06:49 PM
You're right, they're probably not deep enough. The developer explains here: http://evanston.patch.com/articles/bowling-alley-unlikely-at-evanston-plaza-owner-says
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) March 13, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Here are the details on Dominick's right of refusal: http://evanston.patch.com/articles/bowling-alley-unlikely-at-evanston-plaza-owner-says

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