The San Mateo City Council’s decision Monday to deny a developer’s proposal to demolish a beloved ice rink was met with great enthusiasm on the part of supporters who filled the council chambers.
The Bridgepointe Shopping Center ice rink – which in its heyday was a training spot for Olympic champions Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano – has lain vacant since 2013. SPI Holdings out of San Francisco owns the property and did not renew the rink’s lease.
On Tuesday, the developer urged the council to approve a master plan amendment that would prime the land for retail use, which they said would generate sales tax and be more profitable than an ice rink.
“If the city approves the proposal, the center will become a more vibrant and viable shopping center and the city will receive the taxes and other benefits that accompany the center's success,” said Gary Miranda with SPI Holdings.
SPI Holdings also offered to shell out $3 million that officials can use for recreational opportunities for the city as well as an additional $1 million for the San Mateo Police Activities League.
The City Council may have disagreed – unanimously – on the ice rink’s demolition, but cannot force SPI Holdings to reopen the popular attraction.
“The commitment that SPI and San Mateo made to this community to retain the Bridgepointe ice rink is huge,” said resident Alexanaq Dubois. “The closure of the rink has affected our quality of life and negatively affected thousands of residents.