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Voices: What Should Replace Crestview Lanes?

Carmichael Patch hit the streets to speak with residents about the vacant land.

At the northern edge of Carmichael, a huge swath of land sits idle where a bowling alley once entertained residents for decades.

, which sits on a lot of two dozen acres in the Manzanita District of the , closed in 2010 and is now surrounded by a chain-link construction fence.

The property near the corner of Manzanita Avenue and Winding Way is large enough for many big-box retailers, among countless other uses. So what should go there?

Carmichael Patch hit the streets last week to see what residents would like to see replace the longtime bowling alley.

Nick Thompson, Carmichael:
"In all honesty I think they should have a youth center. There's not really any around here."

Quiin Maheras:
"Maybe something with the deaf community."

Mikel Haipek, Citrus Heights:
"I'd like to see a skate park for the kids. I used to live across the street. When I was a kid and lived over there, there was nowhere to skate."

Tammy Wynette:
"There's no affordable grocery store around here. A grocery store -- either that or a community center for the kids."

Amberlyn Wilson, Carmichael:
"A skating rink, because there's not really one around here besides Foothill."

Lori Wilson, Carmichael:
"A big, huge Wal-Mart on that whole lot, because it would be close to me and it would be convenient."

According to county records, the property is owned by Richard Holesapple of Beverly Hills. An agenda from a 2011 meeting of the Carmichael-Old Foothill Farms Planning Commission says real estate manager and developer The Evergreen Company "is under contract to purchase the 24 acres known as the Holesapple Holdings."

An official from The Evergreen Company declined to comment for this story. A 2010 letter from that company to the county asked for fewer restrictions on regional, big-box stores–hinting that a large business could someday come to the Manzanita Avenue property.

A county planning department website doesn't show any pending developments at the former Crestview Lanes property.

But not everyone is happy about the prospect of a big-box grocery and retail store. In March 2011, the store director of Carmichael's said in an email to the county that a trend toward big-box grocers had forced Bel Air to reduce many of its employees to part-time status.

"It is my hope that you carefully consider rezoning the Crestview Lanes (Holesapple Site), to allow for more residential growth, or for a non-retail grocery based business," Bel Air Store Director Lynn Luperini wrote. "This community already has a great many vacancies that need filling. Allowing another 'Box' store would devastate our established businesses and can lead to future layoffs and more hours reduction."

Carmichael, what do you think? Should the former Crestview Lanes be replaced with a big-box store, or would you prefer something else? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sanford Kozlen February 25, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Facebook would be a great company to contact for a call or tech center in our area. We have the schools and educated base of people to support their industry without the high cost of housing that they face in the Bay area. That could lower wage costs and when you add SMUD electrical, reliable water, lower construction costs, excellent San Juan Schools, local shopping and medical services we would offer some real attractions to a rapidly growing company like Facebook.
Rich Russell March 06, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I wish someone would re-open and refurbish the bowling alley, along the lines of Strikes or the west coast chain Lava Lanes.
Victor Calderon March 06, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I agree Rich. It would provide entertainment for all ages. I have been to the Strikes in Elk Grove and Country Club Lanes at Watt and El Camino. Carmichael could use one and soon.
Vivian August 01, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I think that it would serve well as a movie theatre and a bowling alley... and an ice cream/yogurt shop. something for everyone..
Rachael September 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Allowing big box stores, namely Walmart, would devastate this area, which is already battling decline. Big box/Wallmart would strain the businesses and grocers already in place and the resulting traffic will be a headache and affect property values. If the Carmichael-Old Foothill Farms Planning Commission truly cares about this community they will keep the restrictions on regional, big-box stores in place and think about community building options, such as a community center with a library, a senior center and youth center, and a green space for recreation. Make Carmichael a great place to live!

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