BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Thursday, the Buffalo Preservation Board will see the submission to demolish Voelker's Bowling Center on Amherst Street in Buffalo. The plan is also to demolish three other properties surrounding Voelker's.
The submission for demolition does not explain what the site could become, and owner Krista Voelker said that they are currently listening to proposals for the site. According to Voelker, the demolition idea had been in the works for "a while". The pandemic ended up being the final straw as lost business could not be made up.
Under the proposal, the bowling alley would be demolished along with three other properties. Voelker says they are planning on a July demolition with no time frame established for when the new tenant would be announced. Bowling at Voelker's would continue until mid-May.
The Buffalo institution being demolished without a future plan has caught the eye of Buffalo Common Council Member Joseph Golombek, who is hoping that the new site owner keeps the community in mind.
"There should be some sort of plan in order to get the demolition," Golombek said, "I'm not going to support any variances for parking lots or drive-thru's or anything like that. This is the gateway to the community and I want it to remain attractive."
James Wangelin, President of the Grant-Amherst Business Association, believes that the community should have a voice when the future of the Voelker's site is considered.
"That development, we want to make sure it's important for the community to be heard for all of the stakeholders to be heard, because that's what is going to see the best development of that corner," Wangelin said.
Wangelin believes that, if done right, the development could be incredibly important.
"It will be transformative, there is no doubt about that, it's just what that transformation looks like will depend on that development."