Deciding what to build on the site of the former San Juan Lanes is apparently as difficult as bowling a 300 game.

The site has been cleared and is zoned commercial. Property owner Lance Campbell, a veterinarian who also owns Skagit Mini Storage in Sedro-Woolley, has talked to the city planning department about possibly building a veterinary clinic, apartments or mini-storage on the three-quarter-acre site.

That’s according to city planning department Director Don Measamer, Messages were left for Campbell at several numbers Monday.

No permit application had been submitted as of Monday.

Apartments, mini-storage and veterinary clinics are all allowed within the commercial zone, Measamer said. Any new development would have to meet city standards for design, landscaping, and improvements to curbs, gutters and sidewalks. Some of the standards, depending on the type of development, could include parking located at the rear or side of the building, landscaping between the building and street, open space, and use of windows, columns, roofline and materials to break up the bulk of the building.

San Juan Lanes opened in September 1960 and closed in October 2020. Campbell and Jedi Holdings LLC of Sedro-Woolley bought the property in November 2020 for $2 million from Daryl and Teresa Wainman of Anacortes. San Juan Lanes’ demise leaves two bowling alleys in Skagit County — one in Mount Vernon, one in Sedro-Woolley.

Several changes on Commercial Avenue

When Campbell bought the property from the Wainmans, selling agent Matt Steiner of Behar Company Commercial Real Estate Services in Seattle said he couldn’t predict what the future held for the site. But, he said, it’s in “quite a hot area.”

“Commercial Avenue gets 17,000 to 18,000 cars per day,” he said at the time. “The trade-area demographics are still very strong, (drawing visitors) south from Oak Harbor and east from Mount Vernon. I know a number of national tenants that are looking right now.”

Whatever is built, it will be another significant change on a stretch of thoroughfare the city wants to upgrade in appearance and walkability.

Major changes in the past two years include the Barrett Financial Services building, formerly owned by the Samish Indian Nation; and the Jimmy John’s sandwich shop, formerly home of Select Styling. The city redeveloped a right of way it owns between Jimmy John’s and Penguin Coffee into a pocket park, which it named for former City Council member Erica Pickett.

The old Pilgrim Congregational Church at 28th and Commercial has been demolished, and owner Kelli Lang of Re/Max Gateway Real Estate proposes a development featuring first-floor commercial uses and upper-floor apartments.

The newly built Salish Inn, a four-story hotel at 30th Street and Q Avenue, one block east of Commercial Avenue, is now open.

Madrona Real Estate Services, which owns the Fidalgo Square Shopping Center at 18th and Commercial, is building a five-story apartment building, Fidalgo Flats, one block west at 18th Street and O Avenue.

The former Ronk Bros. Heating and Cooling site, 2913 Commercial Ave., is cleared and ready for new development. Savi Bank purchased the property on Aug. 28, 2019, for about $1 million, according to county assessor’s records. Savi Bank Vice President/Branch Manager Melissa King said in an earlier interview that a new Savi Bank branch with drive-thru will be built there. The Anacortes branch is currently in a leased space.

The City of Anacortes is finalizing plans for Commercial Avenue from 11th to 13th streets; those plans will include bicyclist, pedestrian and vehicle safety improvements, as well as landscape beautification. The city ultimately wants to extend those improvements south on Commercial Avenue, including adding park space.

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