Apartment complex to replace University Place bowling center

The entrance of Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place, Washington, is seen on Tuesday, Feb.  15, 2022. The long-time bowling establishment and a former AMC movie complex just south across the parking lot are being sold in order to build apartments.

The entrance of Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place, Washington, is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. The long-time bowling establishment and a former AMC movie complex just south across the parking lot are being sold in order to build apartments.

pcaster@thenewstribune.com

Plans filed with Pierce County show new apartments on the way for a site encompassing properties both in Tacoma and University Place.

The planned apartments will be built across parcels now home to the former AMC Narrows Plaza 8, 2208 Mildred St., Tacoma, and the Narrows Plaza Bowl, 2200 Mildred St. W., University Place.

Reggie Frederick, co-owner of Narrows Plaza Bowl, told The News Tribune in a phone interview Monday that the developers, Wood Partners in Seattle, first approached the owners in 2020.

“We weren’t looking to sell, but we had an offer from Wood Partners. And, you know, it was an offer we couldn’t turn down,” Frederick said.

Terms of the offer were not disclosed. The sale, according to Frederick, is set to close later this month. The bowling center’s last day of operation will be Feb. 20, closing at 10 pm

The business posted the news on its website and on social media over the weekend.

Frederick is overseeing the final days of Narrows, “selling everything that we can sell. So, when we walk away, whatever we don’t sell, it’s theirs and they can do with it as they wish.”

The former AMC also is part of the development, called Narrows Urban Village Apartments, and is being negotiated in a separate deal with that site’s owners. Plans call for a total of nine new apartment buildings spread across the two parcels, according to documents on file with Pierce County Planning and Land Services.

The proposed project includes seven apartment buildings, each of approximately 24,275 square feet, one apartment building of approximately 50,050 square feet, and one of approximately 57,025 square feet. Each has its own parking area. Seven of the buildings would be three stories each and the other two are planned at four stories each. A pool is shown with one of the buildings on the planning documents.

Much work is left to be done before construction; the project now is undergoing sewer permitting.

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Seagulls fly across an empty parking lot in front of the former home to an AMC movie complex in the 2200 block of Mildred Street West in University Place on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Pete Caster pcaster@thenewstribune.com

The redevelopment of the bowling center and movie theater properties to apartments comes a few years after the redevelopment of Tacoma’s Pacific Lanes, 7015 S. D St.

That site is now home to Grand Pacific Apartments, which recently sold for $33.5 million.

Frederick bought the land and building for Narrows in 2004. He also owns and is a managing partner along with family members of the Chalet Bowl in Proctor.

With one less bowling center to run, Frederick, who told The News Tribune he’s approaching 70, is looking toward semi-retirement, while continuing to work at Chalet as well as on various boards and committees.

“I’m a bowling lifer,” he said. “I grew up loving bowling. I was an excellent bowler. I love the bowling business. But there comes a time that you have to decide, OK, how much longer do you want to do this? And does it make good sense? My heart said keep it, but the business side said it was time to sell.”

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Narrows Plaza Bowl, which included Good Times Restaurant and Lounge, is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, at University Place, Washington. The long-time bowling establishment and a former AMC movie complex just south across the parking lot are being sold in order to build apartments. Pete Caster pcaster@thenewstribune.com

Debbie Cockrell has been with The News Tribune since 2009. She reports on business and development, local and regional issues.

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