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World Class Ice Skating Facility to Anchor Proposed Development in Greater Richmond

Midlothian-Chippenham Gateway Also Designed to Include Offices, Apartments and Entertainment Venues

Aerial image of proposed Midlothian-Chippenham Gateway development. (Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority)

Chesterfield County officials are lining up a world class ice skating facility to serve as an anchor of a new high-end mixed-use development being planned in suburban Richmond, Virginia.

The facility is set to be the only venue in the greater Richmond area to feature two NHL-size ice rinks — an important element that will allow the facility to attract larger youth hockey tournaments. Plans include seating and amenities appropriate to host tournaments and special events, and will put Richmond in the top ranks of venues in the mid-Atlantic, officials said.

“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 in a 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."

The facility would be incorporated into Midlothian-Chippenham Gateway, a proposed mixed-use project at the northwest corner of Midlothian Turnpike near Chippenham Parkway.

There, the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority is pitching plans for a new mixed-use development to feature offices, residential and retail space, and sports and entertainment venues. The organization said in July it was in talks to pay $16 million for the 42-acre site, and had hired architectural firm Cooper Carry to assist with the project.

Early design of Midlothian-Chippenham Gateway project. (Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority)

The first phase would include residential apartments, commercial space, restaurants, an office building and the sports tournament and entertainment venue. The second phase has been earmarked for townhouses, more commercial space, another office building and more entertainment.

Additionally, plans call for an open, green plaza and gathering space at the center of the development to accommodate concerts, a farmers market, festivals and public events.

“People want fun, activity-oriented destinations, and this has the potential to be a central gathering place for the county," Cooper Carry representative Abbey Oklak said in a July statement.

The proposed sports and entertainment venue is expected to complement the nearby River City Sportsplex, a facility that has become one of the top tourist draws in the region.

In June, the development authority announced it had bought the recently shuttered Southside Speedway with plans to use the site to grow the sportsplex and attract complementary uses along Genito Road. The sportsplex brings about 120,000 visitors to the area yearly, and has an annual economic impact of $56 million.

The area is also home to the Richmond Volleyball Club, located at the neighboring Stonebridge development, and Swim RVA, which includes the pool that was used for the Olympic trials in 2008.

The development authority will release additional details when a final agreement is reached with an operator for the ice skating complex, it said.

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