A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Old roller rink’s future is up in the air

Written April 7th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

David Kuntz, owner of the former Skateway roller rink, held a garage sale at the building on Saturday.

A group billing itself as The Albany Social Club has dropped its attempt to buy the former Skateway roller rink at 725 Montgomery St. S.E. It didn’t have the money for the purchase and would have had to meet extensive city requirements before it could have used the building for meetings or events.

Natalie A. Brown, who told me about the social club and its proposed purchase of the roller rink last month, said last week the group gave up on buying the rink but not on the idea of a meeting place.

“We would like to find something that would accommodate a large crowd,” she said. “Even if it were bare land at a decent price and we could put a simple structure up on. If you hear of anything please let me know.”

To use the old rink, the group would have had to obtain a conditional use permit from the city. This would have entailed a number of related requirements.

I asked David Martineau, manager in the city’s planning division, to explain. He did:

“The proposed social club is classified as ‘indoor entertainment and recreation’ in the Albany Development Code. The zoning on the property is Hackleman-Monteith (HM). Indoor entertainment uses are allowed in the HM zone through an approved conditional use permit. The Building Division provided comments stating that the occupant load will trigger fire sprinklers and any rented space will have to meet accessibility requirements. A structural assessment will be required with the change of occupancy. They will need to work with an architect to develop plans.”

That sounds like a tall hurdle for a club that was still trying to round up members to contribute money toward the $200,000 asking price for the property on Montgomery Street.

The former roller rink closed several years ago. After that, owner David Kuntz ran the building as “Montgomery Center,” making about half of it avalable for meetings, roller skating birthday parties, and church services, with an occupancy limit of 49 people.

I stopped there Saturday to see if the place was still for sale. Kuntz was the only person there, about to wind up a garage sale.

The tables on the skating floor held mostly items from the roller rink. There were records and tapes from a bygone era and lots of skates, some of which looked new.

County assessment records say the building dates from 1944. A newspaper article 20 years ago says it was built in 1939. It has been listed for sale at $200,000.

Kuntz told me the social club couldn’t come up with his asking price. He said he had talked with another potential buyer but couldn’t go into details.

Kuntz was a competitive skater in his younger days. He’s in his eighties now, the same as his building.

What will become of the property? If anybody buys it, will the new owner be able to meet zoning and development code requirements in order to renovate the building for a new use? Or will the structure, just north of the Pacific Boulevard overpass, eventually have to come down?

For answers to questions like these, we’ll just have to wait. (hh)


Skates on display at the old roller rink during Saturday’s garage sale.


The old roller rink looked like this from across the Eighth Avenue Canal on March 22, 2024.

5 responses to “Old roller rink’s future is up in the air”

  1. chris j says:

    The city only applies the rules and laws when they want to get their way. Does anyone in the city think that their outlandish take on starting a social club that is promoted by the citizens is beyond reason? The city put in a homeless camp and support a shelter that breaks almost every criminal law in the United States of America. Discrimination at its finest.

  2. katherine says:

    If it stays or comes down it has it had issues .Back when the rink was open to the public, picking up and dropping off kids was congested and difficult. Parking is limited.
    If it comes down I do hope they can salvage the old oak flooring.
    It is wonderful the owner had it for so long.

  3. Athena Dressler says:

    That place has so many memories for me as a kid.

  4. K.R says:

    I absolutely hope to see this building saved! Such history there for so many years.

  5. Raquel says:

    I agree, there is so many memories for alot of us,it would be ashame if they tore it down. I’d hope as a community we could salvage it and try and put together something to give to our kids yo have memories of their own here too. If, we could just figure out how… It would just be a shame to see it go to those for there Own personal usage, not for our kids to continue to be able to have a skating rink would be a blessing


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