Glenview Chief Gets His Hockey Rink

Jan 3 2012 | 4:48am ET

Hedge fund manager Larry Robbins is moving forward with plans for his field of dreams adjacent to his New Jersey home.

Robbins, the CEO of Glenview Capital Partners, has been trying to build his dream—a 120-by-85 foot ice rink—on three acres in Cresskill for more four years. But early last month, a state court judge junked a lawsuit filed against Robbins and several Cresskill officials by two neighbors, allowing the project to proceed.

Robbins' ice rink will be smaller than a National Hockey League rink, which is 200 feet long. But it will feature locker rooms and spectator seating—and cost about $10 million.

The rink, designed to look like a house with a stone façade, was approved by Cresskill officials in 2009. Robbins included a one-bedroom apartment in the basement to skirt zoning laws that permitted only residential construction, but that wasn't enough to assuage neighbors Mary O'Gorman and Elaine Sokolin, who sued in 2010.

But the suit was dismissed with prejudice last month, meaning the legal battle is over.

The 16,000 square foot rink sits on three one-acre lots that Robbins, who lives across the borough line from the lots in Alpine, N.J., acquired for the purpose. The site formerly housed an outdoor rink, but that ran afoul of Cresskill's zoning laws.

Others dreaming of a northern New Jersey ice rink, however, will have to look elsewhere. Cresskill has changed its zoning ordinance to require that new construction be at least 50% living space.

"We want to keep the character of the area residential," Mayor Ben Romeo told the Bergen Record.

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