Louisville Slugger plant to become a bowling alley

April 30, 2012 Updated Apr 30, 2012 at 6:18 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

...
April 30, 2012 Updated Apr 30, 2012 at 6:18 AM EDT

A vacant Louisville Slugger baseball bat plant in Ellicottville is being eyed as the site of a new family-based destination.

Spragues Washington Square LLC, a local development team, is working with the County of Cattaraugus Industrial Development Agency on an incentive package that will turn the nearly 50,000-square-foot plant on Elizabeth Street in Ellicottville into a bowling alley and pizzeria. The $1 million project is the third the IDA has considered under its recently enacted adaptive re-use policy.

"This really fits into our definition of adaptive re-use because the building has sat vacant for a long time," said Corey Wiktor, IDA executive director. "Without our help, the building would just be sitting there vacant."

The IDA will hold a public hearing on the project on May 11, and the full board is expected to vote on the incentive package at its June 19 meeting.

The incentive package only covers the building and not the land where it sits.

Louisville Slugger closed its Ellicottville facility in 2007 and shifted its bat-making operations to Kentucky. The building has been empty since then and has attracted only sporadic interest.

The bowling alley would be the first in Ellicottville. The nearest alleys now are in Springville and the Town of Allegany.

"It is too significant of a building to sit idle," Wiktor said. "And it fills an important niche in terms of creating family-friendly destinations in Ellicottville."

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