Any College Station resident knows that until circa 2010, we only had Home Depot in terms of big-box store choices.
"Spring Creek Village" at William D. Fitch currently features a Lowe's, Chick-fil-A, and Whataburger, wraps around a gas station with an empty restaurant pad. Great to learn that College Station finally has its first Lowe's, after Bryan having one for years and years.
We did have one, though, in the distant past. As it turns out, we did get a Lowe's back in the mid-1980s, on the bypass. It was much different than the Lowe's of today, much smaller and featuring slightly more departments before streamlining (like electronics!) but it didn't do so well, and closed circa 1989 before being renovated into Wolf Pen Bowl & Skate, which featured a large skating rink (roller, not ice), a snack bar, PowerSports Gymnastics (which was fairly large and did have a small upper level viewing area). Unfortunately, I have no pictures, save for the ad below. It seems based on the ad that they sub-leased the space, and I recall hearing that after it closed it was used as storage space.
I remember going to PowerSports Gymnastics in the early 2000s (later "Power Gymnastics" before finally disappearing in the mid-2000s) and the skating rink (sixth grade, maybe?), and of course, a bowling alley, which was slightly better than the MSC's but not by much. To think that both of the alleys came from the 1990s is beyond me, as by 1999, both were quite run-down. Sadly, I don't have pictures, but by 2007 it was acquired by a new owner. While this meant the loss of a different bowling alley in town (Triangle Bowl in Bryan, which was even worse, apparently, than the other two alleys) it meant that Wolf Pen Bowl & Skate would be renovated. The plan would be like "Boonville Station", a similar project planned in 2005 in Bryan but never got off the ground, and soon Wolf Pen Bowl & Skate closed and was gutted for a new bowling alley, an arcade (though the original Wolf Pen Skate had a few arcade games, I think), glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, an expanded eating area, and laser tag. This, of course, was Grand Station Entertainment, which remains today. It is often mistakenly called Grand Central Station, undoubtedly its namesake.
I don't know if the Wolf Pen Bowl built in front of the store (the aerial suggests the building was expanded to the front and the parking lot altered) or not, but one wonders if they had simply expanded. There's certainly enough space to.
2400 Earl Rudder Freeway