County Financial information available on Gateway



Northside Lanes to Rebuild in Blackford County


BLACKFORD COUNTY, Ind. (February 14, 2012) – The Blackford County Economic Development Corporation announced today that J&M Bowling will build a 25,000 square foot Family Entertainment Center in Hartford City.

The new Northside Lanes facility is expected to open in the Summer of 2012, according to Mike Hall and Dee Dobson, co-owners of J&M Bowling. The original Northside Lanes facility suffered a catastrophic fire on April 7, 2010, and was completely destroyed. Northside Lanes originally opened in Hartford City in 1960, with J&M Bowling purchasing the facility in November of 2005.

“This is a wonderful announcement for the citizens of Hartford City and the entire Blackford County area,” said Ben Hodgin, Mayor of Hartford City. “Mike and Dee have wanted to rebuild their facility in Hartford City since the fire and many people have worked with them every step of the way to get that accomplished. I’d also like to thank the Hartford City Redevelopment Commission for their support in getting this accomplished. Without their help, this project would have been a lot more difficult.

“Northside Lanes has been a landmark in Hartford City for many years and we are pleased that it is being rebuilt. There is no doubt that the new facility will improve the quality of life in Hartford City,” concluded Hodgin.Northside Lanes to Rebuild in Blackford County (Ind.)

The Blackford County Economic Development Corporation also worked with Creative Entertainment Concepts (CEC) to finalize the development, which will provide more than $1 Million in new investment in Hartford City. CEC, which is based in Indianapolis, provided assistance to J&M Bowling with construction, design and financing.

“I have worked with Municipalities and Economic Development Agencies around the country and it has been a pleasure to work with Rob (Cleveland), former Mayor Whitesell and current Mayor Hodgin,” said David Beauregard, Principal of CEC. “Their aggressive – but commonsense – approach of working with all parties is very refreshing. They truly place the wellbeing of their community and its citizens first and foremost. Their pro-business attitude was most important in our decision to take on this assignment.”

“Since the fire, Dee and I have focused only on getting Northside Lanes rebuilt,” said Mike Hall, co-owner of Northside Lanes and The Pickle Lounge. “We have received a huge amount of support from the bowling community in Blackford County and we would like to thank each and every one of them. We also wouldn’t be here today without the help of Mayor Hodgin and former Mayor Whitesell, the Blackford County Commissioners and the Blackford County Economic Development Corporation. The fire in 2010 was devastating to us, but the community has rallied behind us and we are so happy to be able to rebuild the facility. We look forward to many successful years in Hartford City.”

“This has been a long and difficult process, but well worth the effort by all involved,” said Rob Cleveland, Executive Director of the Blackford County Economic Development Corporation. “There are a number of key players responsible for Northside Lanes being rebuilt including CEC, the Hartford City Redevelopment Commission, the Blackford County Commissioners, Forcum & Forbes and, of course, Mike Hall and Dee Dobson. However, this project wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of our local lending institutions. Throughout the economic downturn, Blackford County’s local lending institutions – Pacesetter Bank, First Financial Bank and VIA Credit Union – have repeatedly considered and funded projects that improve the lives of Blackford County-area citizens. I’m grateful for their support and their willingness to finance local projects.”


About Blackford County listed Blackford County as one of the Top 10 most affordable counties in the United States in 2008. Blackford County is the home of Colonel Kevin Ford who piloted the Space Shuttle Discovery for 13 days on Mission 'STS 128' and home to Jim Kline, who was recognized in 2011 as North America's Top Producer by Top Producer Magazine. Blackford County's employers include, but are not limited to: Petoskey Plastics, Hartford City Foam, Creek Run Environmental and Hartford City Quality Pallet. For more information, please visit or contact Rob Cleveland at (765) 348-4944.

» View Recent Articles

 Print This Page