You know when elected officials turn out for a groundbreaking on a weekend, that’s expected to be the next big thing.
Boca Ice and Fine Arts Center, just off I-95 at Congress Avenue, plans to lay the city’s first ice rinkswithin six months and open the doors by early 2022, said partner Jake Dinov. “We have 160 parking spaces and more next door,” he added gesturing to the neighboring building on Peninsula Drive.
Boca Mayor Scott Singer applauded the private sector’s investment in recreational sports facilities, especially for kids, in his remarks on Saturday. “I have one customer who can’t wait to go ice skating in her own house,” Singer said, pointing to his younger daughter he brought with him.
Used to ice rinks in New Jersey, and suburban New York and Connecticut, the influx of young families in Boca isn’t lost on the center’s owners or local officials. There are three new public schools in Boca city limits, including a grade school Singer was instrumental in securing. The city just turned 15 acres over to the school district for the build. The owners have ongoing relationships with school principals and Florida Atlantic University, they announced. and FAU Hockey Club members were there.
The groundbreaking was a family affair for the Dinovs and Hal Jacovitz, who started planning this in 2015. They’ve known each other for more than a decade through their wives when the children were little. Since then, Mitchell Robbins became a partner in the venture. “I got a call about a piece of property and Hal and Jake are very, very, very persistent,” he told onlookers.
Already planning for NHL level hockey for adults and kids, South Florida Hockey Academy will now be in the building and had a large sign at the event. That’s expected to generate and attract national and international tournaments as a tourist destination, the owners announced.
“To be part of this is unbelievable,” a principal in that venture and former pro hockey player Radek Dvorak told Boca Voice afterwards. “Florida needs to give young athletes a place to go.”
By Marci Shatzman