DESTINATION OWOSSO – Jeremy Dwyer and Michael Ihm are transforming the former Capitol Bowl in Owosso into a multi-sports training facility. Dwyer, co-owner of High-Quality Glass and Ihm, owner of Owosso Hit and Pitch, are both dedicated supporters of the Owosso community and believe the new business will be a destination attraction. Dwyer has purchased the building and Ihm will handle business operations.
Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership President/CEO Justin Horvath shared, “This is a very exciting redevelopment project for Owosso and Shiawassee County. With the addition of Fitness Coliseum and the existing Shiawassee River trail nearby, we are creating a real recreational hub that will attract hundreds of residents and visitors daily to the area and help support other downtown businesses.”
Brianna Carroll, owner of the Fitness Coliseum, is relocating her business to S. Water Street.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
A multi-use, multi-sports facility will be opening in downtown Owosso in a few short weeks. Located in the former Capitol Bowl building on S. Washington Street, renovation started roughly five weeks ago to convert 28,000-square-feet of space into a destination sports training complex that will also include a restaurant and bar combination. A soft opening is planned for mid-April.
“We want this to change the perception of the community,” shared Jeremy Dwyer, building owner, who is also the co-owner of High-Quality Glass. “That is ultimately what all of this is about. This is my goal. I’m huge on changing the perception of Owosso. We want this to be a community destination. We hope people will come from all over.”
Dwyer purchased the building in February, knowing he and Michael Ihm, owner of Owosso Hit and Pitch, had a vision locked in place for the structure. Dwyer became involved with Ihm through Hit and Pitch as a coach and in other endeavors, and the two recognized they make a strong team. Ihm will now be the tenant at the new facility, handling business operations.
“I’ve been looking to expand,” said Ihm. “I’ve been looking for a bigger building, bigger space. It’s been an idea for a couple of years.” He plans on keeping Hit and Pitch at the current location on Main and Ball streets. The new business is somewhat of a separate venture for Ihm, allowing him to expand into other sports such as football, soccer, volleyball, basketball and pickleball. Pickleball is sort of a combined version of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, and has seen recent growth in popularity.
“I can expand the programs at Hit and Pitch, but now include these other options, too,” Ihm said.
Dwyer explained how they had looked at various locations in recent months. “We kicked around everything from buying to building to even a multi-acre site. Every time a building would come on the market, we would throw our heads at it. When this came up, we knew.”
The larger portion of the building, roughly 19,000-square-feet, is set to become the major training area and will be covered in turf. Another area to the north end will be used for volleyball, basketball and other sports that need a hard surface. Even walkers will be welcomed in to take advantage of the perimeter area to get their steps in – a particularly welcome asset for the area in winter months.
More information on the restaurant and bar will be announced as details are formalized.
Ihm is pleased to have the large space, which also includes heightened ceilings. Parents and guardians of kids participating in sports will have plenty of room to hang out and watch, visit the restaurant, take a walk along the river or visit downtown Owosso. He is confident the new business will draw in people from out-of-area, while also offering locals a facility so they don’t have to commute to Flint or Lansing for training. Ihm has plans for numerous tournament events in various sports. Tournaments bring in large groups of out-of-area visitors who then support the local economy, visiting businesses, restaurants, hotels and local attractions.
Dwyer is an Owosso native. Ihm has lived in Owosso for 20-years. Both are deeply invested in the area, supporting the community and raising their children here. Both are committed to elevating the quality of life in Owosso through this new business venture – allowing individuals from all over to participate in numerous activities at varying comfort levels.
Ihm also shared that the previous bowling equipment was mostly rehabbed for use at other facilities. He is pleased that very little went to waste.
The former Capitol Bowl closed in 2020 after being rebuilt due to a fire 14 years ago. The bowling alley operated for many years under the Trecha family. The loss of the bowling alley marks a first for Owosso in nearly 100 years of being a city minus a bowling alley. The nearest bowling alley is Riverbend in Corunna.
The name of the sports facility will be announced later.