Landmark Albany bowling alley being razed for redevelopment

September 14, 2017 06:56 PM

ALBANY - An Albany landmark will soon be razed. People have been rolling balls at the Playdium Bowling Center for more than 75 years. However, the owner is selling and a developer just submitted plans to the city to re-develop the property.

The staff hasn't been given a timeline, but the doors are still open and leagues are still meeting here -- for now.

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Mike Lucey has been waxing the lanes for more than half a century. He started at the Playdium when he was 16 years old and worked his way up to general manager.

"It's my life, I mean I've lived off it for 50 some years, so it's pretty important," he acknowledged.

While Lucey's not retiring, the lanes are leaving. The owner wants to sell and the city of Albany is currently considering a developer's plan to demolish the 1940s structure in Pine Hills and replace it with three new buildings.

"I think it's a very interesting and good proposal. I think it is an improvement over what is happening there," admitted Judy Doesschate with the Albany Common Council.

If the proposal is approved, the Playdium would become a mixed use property.  A laundry mat is being considered as is a café. There would also be a parking garage for the more than 100 apartments.

"I would like to see more people moving into the city. We have a great, vibrant city and our neighborhood is terrific," exclaimed Doesschate.

Lucey feels fortunate to have made a career out of the game he loves and he's not done throwing strikes. He will just have to do it somewhere else.

"Nothing lasts forever. It's just part of life," he acknowledged.

A meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the nearby Hibernian Hall to discuss the plan with members of the City Council, city representatives and developers.

More information:
Playdium site plans


WNYT Staff

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