Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Charlottesville Ice Park is Going Out of Business

According to Hawes Spencer on The Hook's website yesterday (here), the Charlottesville Ice Park is going out of business. Spencer's articles says that Bruce Williamson and Roberta Williamson, who have owned the rink since 2003, "point to cumulative losses which exceed $850,000 and appear headed toward the million-dollar mark."

This strikes me as a major development in terms of the ongoing vacancy problems on the Mall. Most of the empty storefronts are on the east end (the A&N space may never be filled), but I think of the rink as a kind of "anchor tenant" -- and a public gathering place, like the Regal next door -- whose emptiness could bode badly for the overall atmosphere and vibrancy of the Mall.

The article says that the current owners are talking to potential buyers. Perhaps, but the news becoming public before a sale can't be a good sign.

In other Mall news, the Minor/Danielson Landmark lawsuits remain pending, with portions headed for arbitration. There's still no significant outcry from merchants/residents to push a resolution along, but I have no doubt there will be, eventually, if it drags out long enough.

The most clever post from The Hook's comments section on the ice rink story (from a poster named yepper: "The ice park is ‘almost one of a kind’ (just like the Victory Shoe store) ... Think of the blight! We can’t afford to have such a large, hulking, empty structure on the DTM. I mean, once the Victory Shoe storefront is rebuilt, all those customers will have this eyesore to look at!"

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