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UPDATED: Demolition work underway at former Fairlanes Bowling facility in New Minas


NEW MINAS, NS - A well-known New Minas landmark that was once a bowling alley could soon be the site of a medical facility.

The former Fairlanes Bowling Centre closed for the final time in March 2017. Earlier this year, safety fencing was erected around the building and demolition work is now underway.

County of Kings building and enforcement services manager Terry Brown said he isn’t at liberty to release any names associated with the documents but confirmed that a renovation permit for the property was taken out in 2017.

Following that, a demolition permit for the former Fairlanes building was issued to a Nova Scotia numbered company on June 28. Brown said the permit would be valid for one year.

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Chambers Developments president and broker Jim Chambers said his company brokered the sale of the former Fairlanes property twice since the bowling alley closed.

A Moncton company owned the bowling alley for a long time before deciding to get out of the business and sell the building. It was sold to a buyer from Toronto who planned to renovate the facility into a retail store.

Six to eight months later, the first buyer decided against the plan and put the property back on the market. Chambers said it sold the second time to a buyer who plans to develop a medical facility.

“It was reasonable to think that there were going to be major changes to the existing building, because after all it was a bowling alley,” Chambers said.

The building features a pre-engineered steel frame and is built on a concrete slab. Chambers said he doesn’t know if the building will be completely demolished or if the steel frame will be repurposed as part of the new construction. It could be a “major renovation as opposed to a demolition.”

According to information from the website www.viewpoint.ca, the property parcel is 73,281 square feet and is currently assessed at $601,400. It sold on April 10, 2017, for $600,000 and on April 27, 2018, for $875,000.

In an earlier interview, championship bowler Jess Bain of Aylesford confirmed that a friend purchased 12 machines and lane beds out of 24 from Fairlanes after it closed. The equipment is in storage with the intention of setting it back up in an Annapolis Valley facility if the necessary funds can be secured.

A bowler’s perspective

Bain said she stopped recently to take a photo of the old Fairlanes building and posted it on her Facebook page. Several bowlers commented on how difficult it is to see the facility being demolished. She said that while Valley bowlers are doing their best to keep moving on, it’s easy to let the mind wander and wish things were different.

“With the length of time the alley was left empty and vacant, we could have had another whole season of bowling. That’s a tough pill to swallow,” Bain said. “We all understand business is business, but unfortunately bowling in the Valley has suffered because of that.”

She said those involved in the sport are doing all they can to keep it going. While she wishes she could snap her fingers and make a new alley appear, she is very thankful for the remaining alleys and their owners.

“The whole bowling community has really has come together over the last few years and that keeps the desire and drive going strong for me,” Bain said.

She said November would be a big month in the bowling world with both the men’s and women’s international championships taking place. Valley bowlers continue to be contenders in these prestigious tournaments.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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