Fresh off its purchase of Spring Rock Green, Chesterfield officials have unveiled their vision for one of the first big pieces in their plan to redevelop the aging shopping center at the Chippenham Parkway and Midlothian Turnpike interchange.
The county’s economic development authority confirmed this week that negotiations are being finalized for a two-rink indoor ice hockey facility to rise on part of the 42-acre property, which it bought last week for $16 million.
The rinks would be the main feature of the 100,000-square-foot sports-and-entertainment venue that would occupy the northeast corner of the site. It would house two National Hockey League-sized ice rinks, which measure 200 feet long by 85 feet wide.
County officials say the venue would be the only one in the region to feature two such rinks. The facility would be open for youth hockey tournaments and ice-skating programs, as well as public skating. The venue is also expected to feature a sports bar among other amenities.
“We had a group come to us to say they wanted to build a two-sheet tournament-level facility in the area,” Chesterfield Economic Development Director Garrett Hart said Monday. “You have to have two sheets, a sports bar and all those things. They wanted to do that in Chesterfield and needed a location.”
Hart declined to identify the group that approached the county about the project. He said the facility would be built by the county for the unidentified operator through a lease-to-own agreement.
Hart said a lease agreement between the EDA and operator was being worked out and he expected it would be finalized next week.
The acreage purchased last week by the EDA comprises the majority of the shopping center but did not include outparcels along Midlothian Turnpike occupied by Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread and others. The EDA bought the property from Chicago-based Bond Cos. with plans to sell off pieces of the project area to developers.
Beyond the hockey venue, the county envisions a mix of uses for Spring Rock Green’s future, including more than 1,000 residential units, a 190-room hotel, more than 290,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space.
The site has to be rezoned to make all that happen. Hart said he expects the rezoning process to be completed by early next year.
Construction is expected to start summer 2022 with a fall 2023 completion date for phase one of the project, which includes the ice facility and a portion of the development’s residential, office and commercial components.
Cooper Carry, an Atlanta-based architecture firm, has been hired to design the development’s master plan.
Youth hockey would put another feather in Chesterfield’s sports-tourism cap, which includes state and regional volleyball tournaments at the Richmond Volleyball Club across the turnpike at the Stonebridge development, and lacrosse, soccer and field hockey tournaments at the county-owned River City Sportsplex.
“Richmond Region Tourism is very excited about this new development, which would add to our sports tourism infrastructure,” Richmond Region Tourism President and CEO Jack Berry said of the ice facility in a prepared statement.
“The area needs additional indoor hockey regulation-sized sheets of ice to be attractive to hosting hockey tournaments, figure skating competitions, as well as serving a need for our residents,” Berry said.
Chesterfield’s announcement comes as Powhatan Ice Den, a youth hockey-focused rink, opens in neighboring Powhatan County.