East Brunswick approves resolution for potential ice rink designs

EAST BRUNSWICK–The Township Council approved a resolution authorizing an agreement between DMR Associates and the municipality for architectural designs of proposed ice hockey rink.

The council approved a resolution authorizing DMR Associates to perform architectural concept design for an ice hockey rink for the amount not to exceed $35,000 located at 110 Tices Lane during the council meeting on Sept. 14 via video conference.

In a letter addressed to Director of Planning and Engineering Keith Kipp, DMR wrote it is the company’s understanding that the township proposes to develop a new ice hockey rink facility which will include administration offices, locker rooms, pro shop and restrooms, along with the concession stand.

At present, the proposed scope of services is based on an approximately 205 feet by 85 feet ice hockey rink. Per the township’s discussion with the company on Aug. 3, the township wishes to proceed with the programming and concept design services only to establish the building footprint so the plan application for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection can be submitted, according to the letter.

On June 27, 2019, the township’s 110 Tices Lane Redevelopment Project took a major step forward when demolition of the old Wonderbread Factory began.

Last year, both Councilman James Wendell and Mayor Brad Cohen spoke about the possibility of building an ice hockey rink.

Wendell explained that the project will not only be something for the community, but the developer is donating 8 acres back to the township for recreational purposes, according to the council.

“The town is going to use the 8 acres for a facility that is going to benefit the entire town,” Wendell said. “Right now we are thinking about an ice rink … and we’ll have some retail residential units, we’ll have some townhouses, we’ll have some apartments, all with smart development and improvements to Tices Lane and improvements to the infrastructure in the area.”

When asked about the possibility of building an ice rink at the site, Cohen responded that, “Nothing is 100%, but that is overwhelmingly likely what we want to build. That is what most of the residents have indicated they would like to see as a municipal use.”

The developer for the project is Garden Homes Development, Short Hills. Garden Homes Development principal Scott Loventhal estimated the cost of the project at $100 million, which could be a six-year project for the company.

The resolution authorizes CME Associates to conduct environmental engineering services in the amount of $7,500. CME Associates submitted a proposal for environmental services required for site work at the facility which is recommended by the Planning and Engineering Department, according to the council.

Council Vice President Sharon Sullivan, along with Wendell and Councilman Michael Spadafino, voted “yes”; however, Councilman Kevin McEvoy voted “no”. Council President Sterley Stanley was not present.

“During these extremely difficult economic times, I don’t feel that we should be spending any of the taxpayers’ money on this particular venue in this particular way,” McEvoy said.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.