Work will start in August on the renovation of the Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex, soon to be known as the Jacksonville Icemen Igloo.
Icemen President Bob Ohrablo said at a news conference March 30 that construction will take 10 to 12 months.
The renovation, excluding the $6 million to purchase the property, is expected to cost $12.5 million.
When it is completed, the Icemen Igloo will comprise two ice rinks, a sports bar, protein shop, esports arena and the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame, said Andy Kaufmann, majority owner of the Icemen.
The sports bar will have floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can eat and drink with a view of the rinks.
The second ice rink will be built first so people can continue to skate at the facility during the renovations.
“Since coming to Jacksonville in 2017, the Icemen have demonstrated their commitment to this city time and time again,” Mayor Lenny Curry said at the news conference.
“The Icemen Igloo and the renovations they are planning here are just the latest demonstrations of their commitment,” he said.
“The Igloo will be a wonderful destination for our entire community, bringing folks in from throughout the Southeast here to our city.”
The Igloo is part of San Marco East, at Interstate 95 and Emerson Street.
City Council voted 17-0 on March 23 to approve Ordinance 2021-0113, which authorizes a 20-year, $6.5 million loan at 3% interest and a $1 million completion grant for Iceman affiliate Icemen Igloo LLC.
JICE LLC, managed by Kaufmann, bought the Sportsplex on March 15 for $6 million from PSF I Jax Metro LLC, according to the Duval County Clerk of Courts.
Icemen representatives and administration officials say the deal would provide colleges in the North Florida region a home rink, create inner-city hockey and educational programs and attract youth and adult hockey and figure skating tournaments from throughout the Southeastern U.S.
Council member LeAnna Cumber said the renovation of the facility will benefit her district and the Philips Highway corridor.
“This really proves that Philips Highway has really turned the corner,” she said.
“Having a sports bar, restaurant and the ice here is really going to help this whole area flourish.”