The city of Los Angeles is in escrow to buy two parcels along Sherman Way in Reseda that officials plan to turn into a year-round ice skating and roller hockey facility.
The $25.7 million skating rink project will be part of a larger revitalization of the Reseda Town Center commercial area, where a Laemmle movie theatre and new apartments are also planned, Blumenfield said.
The purchase price of the skating rink parcels is $6.8 million. The city is putting in up to $4 million in excess non-housing bond proceed money, with the rest coming from voter-approved Proposition K property tax revenue generated for use on parks projects.
The rink facility’s conceptual plans, approved by the Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners in January, include an outdoor 60-by-120-foot roller hockey rink with a shade structure and a 1,200-square-foot office, restroom and storage building; and a roughly 26,800-square-foot ice rink building with space for a 85-by-200-foot ice surface, team locker rooms, a storage facility, public seating, office space and other areas necessary for ice hockey and figure skating activity. The facility will also have a 127-space parking lot.
City officials last summer first began in earnest to purchase the two acres of property on the south side of Sherman Way between Lindley and Etiwanda avenues in an effort to retain funding for the project. The parcels, at 18128 and 18210 Sherman Way, belong to the former Los Angeles redevelopment agency, which is separate from the city. Before being dissolved, the agency was tasked with overseeing projects that reduce blight and improve the local economy.
Efforts have long been underway to build an ice rink on the commercial corridor but had been stalled. Proposition K funds were specifically earmarked in the 1990s for “acquisition and construction of an ice hockey and roller blading facility.”
But that funding alone was not enough, and more financing was needed to make the project happen. Blumenfield said the project picked up steam when he approached the Los Angeles Kings for help getting the project off the ground.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way and I am proud to announce that we are at the cusp of bringing a new ice rink facility to the West Valley,” Blumenfield declared in a statement.
Blumenfield said the rink will be a key part of his “Reseda Rising” plan to revitalize the Sherman Way commercial area, which is now a collection of retail shops and vacant spaces that he describes as “blighted.”
Blumenfield said the purchase agreement “lets us move forward, bring on new partners and build a facility that will be a cool, fun and active destination for the entire region.”
In a January report, city staff referred to a draft agreement that proposed the rink be operated by a joint venture between Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., American Sports Entertainment Company LLC and the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club L.P. The Bureau of Engineering would build it, and the city’s Recreation and Parks Department would own the facility, the report also said.
Recreation and Parks General Manager Mike Shull said in a statement that the rink will open as many other rinks in Los Angeles “close their doors or become (privatized).”
The Bureau of Engineering estimates the project would begin construction in November 2019 and be completed by March 2021.