Updated at 3 p.m.
Topgolf, the Dallas-based operator of golf-related entertainment complexes, plans to open a new facility in Chesterfield, city officials confirmed Thursday.
Aimee Nassif, Chesterfield’s planning and development director, said the proposed entertainment and event venue will be located on the 22 acres that is currently home to Hardee’s Iceplex and the vacant land immediately to the east of the hockey facility at 16851 North Outer 40 Road.
“The Hardee’s Iceplex will be coming down,” Nassif said. Based on the size of the project, the two facilities can’t coexist in the same space, she said.
The zoning application, submitted late Wednesday by Topgolf USA Chesterfield LLC, says the new facility will allow golfers to hit balls into 11 targets from more than 100 hitting bays on three floors. It will include a full restaurant, bar and corporate meeting space.
Topgolf didn’t confirm its plans, but said Thursday in an email: “We should have some exciting news to share soon!”
John Ross, managing owner of the three-rink Iceplex, said it will take Topgolf about six to nine months to go through the approval process with the city of Chesterfield.
It will need to go through zoning and City Council approval before heading for site plan and building permit approval.
Ross, who is also a minority owner of the St. Louis Blues, said Topgolf officials approached his group, Summit Ice Center Investors LLC, about a year ago.
At first the ownership group wasn’t interested because it wanted to sell to a buyer committed to maintaining a hockey rink. But the cost to upgrade the nearly 20-year-old facility, which serves as home to the Chesterfield Hockey Association, an amateur youth hockey club, was substantial, and the group decided to sell. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The property has an assessed value of about $1.5 million and an appraised value of $4.6 million, according to real estate records with St. Louis County.
“It’s meaningful for St. Louis to get one,” Ross said of Topgolf. “It’s not too different than Ikea.”
Topgolf has more than 30 locations across the U.S., including facilities in Atlanta; Houston; Nashville, Tenn.; Overland Park, Kan.; Naperville, Ill.; and Scottsdale, Ariz.
Ross said plans are underway to replace Hardee’s Iceplex with a new facility, which will “stay out west.” The Iceplex ownership group plans to make a financial contribution to the new hockey facility but will not own it.
Mark Kraus, president of the Chesterfield Hockey Association, said his organization is behind plans for a new rink. The plan is to form a new nonprofit, separate from the youth club, to raise funds to build a three-sheet ice rink in the Chesterfield area.
The new nonprofit, which has yet to be named, will own the facility, and a governing board will run the complex.
“We recognize that if we’re going to take our organization forward, we need a new facility,” Kraus said.
Board members have yet to be selected but will include members from the Chesterfield Hockey Association, Kraus said.
They are close to securing a major donor, whom Kraus declined to name. Kraus said they hope the city of Chesterfield will be willing to contribute.