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Bowling is out, but Spins Bowl developer is in as Sto-Kent site heads for 'gut renovation'

Akron Beacon Journal
Akron Beacon Journal
 2022-06-27

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After purchasing the former site of Sto-Kent Entertainment for nearly $1 million, its new developer plans to open another entertainment venue with more outdoor activities.

Diamond Properties President Bill Diamond said the goal for the Sto-Kent location is to transform it into an indoor/outdoor entertainment venue that offers a compelling experience for all ages and demographics.

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"We have not yet even closed on the property...we have just hired a terrific local architectural firm to start on plans and ideas for the renovation," Diamond said. "There is virtually nothing that can be salvaged from the current building.  So we are looking at a complete gut renovation."

Diamond Properties is primarily a real estate company, operating close to 15 million square feet of commercial and industrial properties in 11 states. The developer operates a number of hospitality businesses, including bowling and entertainment centers as well as RV parks.

"We pride ourselves in bringing back underutilized and neglected properties that can be better utilized and become true amenities for the surrounding communities," Diamond said.

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Entertainment concept to highlight outdoor recreation

Diamond Properties’ hospitality division, Diamond Hospitality Group, operates close to 20 entertainment venues.  Most of these venues operate under their Spins Bowl brand, but the new space will operate under the District Social brand.

Diamond said plans for the space include completely renovate the property and operate it as a District Social concept which will include a large arcade, live music, bar, axe throwing and food trucks.

"For this location we plan to put special emphasis on the outdoor activities which will include volleyball, hopefully bringing back the miniature golf, and possibly adding some pickle ball courts, as well as other outdoor activities," he said.

He added that the space will most likely not include bowling, since the developer operates three larger bowling venues in the area, including Spins Bowl’s in Akron , Kent and Independence .

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Formal proposal awaited, timetable unclear

Stow Director of Planning and Development Nathan Leppo said the city has not received a proposal yet from Diamond Properties. so all plans are tentative.

"I frequently hear from Stow residents that an entertainment destination within the city is greatly wanted," Leppo said. "It appears that this project looks to benefit those desires."

He added that developers are struggling with supply-chain issues causing proposals and projects to be delayed.

Once a popular bowling alley, Sto-Kent Family Entertainment announced its closing on Facebook in September, citing the pandemic as the reason.

Sitting on a little more than three acres, the 21,000-square-foot property was built in 1959 and features a 24-lane bowling alley. There is also a miniature golf course, two sand volleyball courts, a food stand and parking for more than 120 cars.

Sto-Kent's former owners were not able to be reached for comment.

Reporter Molly Walsh can be reached at mwalsh@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Bowling is out, but Spins Bowl developer is in as Sto-Kent site heads for 'gut renovation'

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