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Portland bowling alley gets $25K city grant

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Portland bowling alley gets $25K city grant

PORTLAND — A $25,000 grant from the city will help finance the finishing touches for a 12-lane bowling alley in Bayside.

Greg Mitchell, the city's economic development director, said the grant for Bowl Portland was approved last week by the Downtown Portland Corp., a city-affiliated group created in 1991 to provide financial assistance to downtown businesses.

State Sen. Justin Alfond, a Portland Democrat who is teaming up with Charles Mitchell on the $1 million project, said the grant will be used to make $75,000 worth of outdoor improvements around the 58 Alder St. property.

Alfond said the grant will help offset the additional costs associated with meeting the city's new Bayside design standards for street lights and brick sidewalks, requirements Alfond and Mitchell unsuccessfully sought waivers for during the planning process.

"That's why we're really happy to get the grant," Alfond said, noting that two special light fixtures will cost $30,000 to install.

In addition to outdoor infrastructure work, Alfond said interior finish work still needs to be completed before the bowling alley can open in early June.

Since June 2007, the Downtown Portland Corp. has awarded $135,000 through the Portland Development Action Grant program, Mitchell said. The program can provide a maximum allotment of $25,000 towards city-mandated infrastructure projects, but must be matched by the developer.

It's the second time within a year that an Alfond project has received the funding. The conversion of the former University of Southern Maine Portland Hall into apartments at 645 Congress St. also received $25,000 last July. 

Other projects to receive funding include the Baxter Library ($25,000), Maine Historical Society ($25,000), Atlantic Bayside Trust for the Intermed development ($25,000) and Becky's Diner (nearly $10,200).

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or rbillings@theforecaster.net