In the last couple of weeks, I have had five or six phone calls about the bowling alley on Highway 301 South being closed. People want to know what is going on with Harvest Lanes. It is closed for good? Are there plans to renovate and reopen it?
Here is the skinny. The 3.2 acre tract which contains the bowling alley and stretches in a rectangle from Highway 301 to Old Register Road/Legends has been sold to the Georgia Southern University Foundation.
The property was sold to the Foundation by the Drake Land Group which had purchased it from the Hart family.
"Initially we wanted to do something with the bowling alley," said a spokesman for the Drake Land Group. "But, we just couldn't make it work with that property. When we bought the property that was our intent."
According to Christian Flatham, a spokesman for Georgia Southern, the Foundation purchased the bowling alley in support of the university's long-range master plan. The university's physical plant/facilities group will use it for operations and storage space.
So there you go. The bowling alley, which let's be honest, was in tremendous disrepair, is going to be no more. However, do not lose hope. The spokesman for the Drake Land Group said he is aware of a number of investment groups that are bantering about the idea of building a new one.
"I am aware of several other investment groups that are examining the feasibility of building a state-of-the-art bowling center in Statesboro," he said. "I feel like plans are so far down the road for some of these groups that one will end up building a facility. I really think it is going to happen."
There is one more piece to this puzzle. There is a rumor out there that the Foundation has also purchased the 2.54 acre site of Legends which borders old Register road and is located behind and parallel to the bowling alley acreage. I know it isn't Legends anymore, but that is the name under which it gained its infamy. According to Flatham, currently, no agreement has been signed to purchase Legends.
That seems to be where things stand at this point and time. In an attempt to predict the Foundation's next land acquisition move, I went to the university's strategic master plan. I could not find where it said to buy the bowling alley property specifically, but it did state that one of the university's action steps to meet a strategic objective is to acquire adjacent properties for campus expansion while developing and beautifying the campus perimeter in conjunction with the community.
I would argue that the purchase of both the bowling alley and Legends meets that criteria. So, I guess we will just have to sit back and watch. Rest assured, where university expansion is concerned, there is more news to come.