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Sports Basement Sliding Into Berkeley Iceland

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This week Berkeley's Zoning Adjustment Board voted to allow Sports Basement to adapt the old Berkeley Iceland for a new retail location. The ice rink closed operations on April 1, 2007, and the Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the entire site a landmark four days later. A friends group called Save Berkeley Iceland, who have been lobbying for an operating ice rink on the property, was slated to buy it in 2008 but the sale never went through. The site was sold to Sports Basement in 2010, but some citizens criticized the approval of a "big box store", despite Sports Basement's positive record with historic buildings (and we're not sure four locations really qualifies it for "big box" status). In the end, council members approved the application since "the changes being proposed do not prevent it from being restored somewhere down the line into an ice rink facility." [Berkeleyside/Photo: Thomas Hawk]