Goodbye, Charlottesville Ice Park

The Charlottesville Ice Park/Main Street Arena was fundamentally important for many, and others, was an important “thing” that contributed to what made Downtown Charlottesville, “Downtown Charlottesville.”

It was finally not raining in Charlottesville, so I was able to ride over and get a closer look at the demolition.

Progress? Not progress? Change.

In its place, will soon (in 2021) be the Center for Developing Entrepreneurs (read the whole story at Charlottesville Tomorrow).

CODE is designed as a sloped, triangular building that rises from a two-story entrance on the Downtown Mall to seven stories as it approaches Water Street. The center of the building opens into a courtyard with a sunken water feature and amphitheater. The rooftop is divided into a series of terraces with greenery and outdoor workspaces.

Andrew Boninti, president of CSH Development, said the interior of the building is designed to facilitate “collision of people” and the exchange of ideas.

“You’re going to have people from all different businesses coming together and running into each other,” Boninti said. “It brings together the young person who is just getting started and renting a little booth … with the CEO that has one of the more successful businesses in our community.”

CODE has reserved space for several retail businesses, including a bar in the main lobby of the building. Boninti said CODE will have several lunch windows that will allow local food entrepreneurs to test their concepts in a shared kitchen space.

CODE includes about 170,000 square feet of office and retail space, along with an auditorium that can seat up to 225 people. The building is expected to host more than 600 people in early-stage technology startups, co-working spaces and larger business headquarters.

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