Basement Bowling Future Draws Ever Closer

Architects + Artisans, a design blog that aims to "document the development of architecture, artisanship, and sustainability for the 21st century," interviewed Dewhirst Properties' Mark Heinz about the company's effort to refurbish (with Hatcher Hill Properties) Gay Street's decrepit J.C. Penney building. It's long been the largest remaining eyesore on downtown's main thoroughfare, foiling previous efforts with its size and poor condition, sitting empty for about 35 years. "Everyone involved with this city's resurgence can't wait to scratch it off the ‘ugly list,'" says Heinz, and it appears that day is drawing closer. He reports that the building has a new roof as of last month and all four floors have been rebuilt. Most scintillating is his confirmation that the 11,500 square-foot basement will indeed be converted into an urban bowling alley with 12 lanes, a bar, and a restaurant.