Brooklyn’s biggest bowling alley could be demolished for housing, synagogue

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The owner of Brooklyn’s largest bowling alley wants the city to rezone his property so that he can demolish the historic lanes and make way for a seven-story apartment complex and synagogue, the New York Times reported. John LaSpina, whose family has owned Maple Lanes since it opened in Borough Park in 1960, applied for the rezoning last summer, and since the neighborhood is in need of housing, the Department of City Planning has indicated that approval seems likely, if far-off. LaSpina, who operates four other bowling alleys in Queens and on Long Island, is hoping that by rezoning the 72,000-square-foot site, at 16th Avenue and 60th Street, he’ll up its value for potential buyers. Brooklyn has been shedding bowling lanes in recent years: Bay Ridge’s Mark Lanes was demolished and replaced with a parking lot three years ago, and in 2003, Gil Hodges Lanes in Mill Basin ceded half its space to a new gym. “We’re in the bowling business and real-estate business,” LaSpina said. “This has been a great run, and we’ll see where it goes.” [NYT]