Bowling alley coming to Chesterfield despite pin controversy

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Despite receiving an earful from opponents, last night the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors voted to move forward with the construction of a bowling alley.

Uptown Alley is set to strike a future in the Commonwealth Centre, offering 40 bowling lanes on two floors, two restaurants, an arcade and a 29-foot bowling pin on the roof.

That's what had some residents fuming during last night's public hearing at the board of supervisors meeting. Opponents called a bowling pin on the rooftop, gaudy, tacky and just plain weird. But regardless of the criticism, the board voted in favor of the project.

"I think that the overall impression was that people didn't understand that the bowling pin that is on top of the building, is actually embedded into the structure."

After two and a half years, developer steve uphoff is excited to get the ball rolling. "No better time to build when the economy needs something that can entertain, but do it in a quality way."

The architectural design that is the pin...

"It's stainless steal. It's beautiful. It's softly lit from inside."

Was thought up by the creative team also behind Disney's bowling alleys.

"It's designed so it's part of the whole atrium that he's got inside of the restaurant," says Bob Schum with Chesterfield's Chamber of Commerce.

And the pin is meant to draw in customers who may otherwise miss the building that will sit lower from the shopping center and farther from the road.

"You won't find it around anywhere, I attribute it to the tower at Kings Dominion.When people see it, they're going to go, yeah i know where that is."

Still, some critics are concerned this pin will lead to more rooftop decor.

"The system is in place so that the county has control over exactly what goes on a structure what the building looks like. This was a conditional use permit, that's the reason the process is in place."

"It's going to be a great spot. It's going to be great for the county."

This project is expected to break ground by early 2010 and is expected to be completed just in time for next year's holiday season.

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