The couple behind plans to land a state-of-the-art rink and training facility in Leesburg are moving ahead and hope to have it open within the next year.
Former Olympic figure skater Luiz Taifas and wife Mitra Setayesh are behind the ION International Training Center. Earlier this year, the couple announced plans for a 95,000-square-foot facility that will have the capacity to be everything from an Olympic-style training center, to a rink open for public skating and lessons, and even to host large events, like graduation ceremonies or performances.
The two have selected a site in the Compass Creek development owned by the Peterson Companies just outside the Leesburg town limits, near the Dulles Greenway and Battlefield Parkway, and are in the site plan review process with Loudoun County. They filed their plans with the county in October.
Last week, Setayesh said she and her husband hope to break ground in the spring and open by the end of 2017, assuming the site plan process moves quickly. She said they are excited about their location, wanting to stay in Leesburg, and have enjoyed working with the Peterson Companies.
But it may not be the only entry into the skating market in Leesburg. Brian Cullen, owner of the Ashburn Ice House, has also filed plans to open a roughly 120,000-square-foot facility in the Oaklawn development. It would house a skating rink, a turf field that could be converted to an ice rink in the future, and an aquatic facility for a swim club, he said.
Acknowledging that his team knows the market pretty well through their operation of the Ashburn Ice House, Cullen said they are waiting to “see what emerges in the market” before deciding how to proceed. He noted they filed their plans with the town more than six months ago and have completed two rounds of review.