MISHAWAKA — Mayor Dave Wood announced Monday that the city plans to build a plaza at Beutter Park with an ice-skating loop and rental building that would replace Merrifield Park’s ice rink.
Wood also spoke about new lights for Beutter’s pedestrian bridge, a digital sculpture nearby and a new stage and fitness court at Central Park at his annual State of the City speech Monday in the Battell Community Center.
Ironworks Plaza would serve as a “grand entrance” to Beutter Park — with a beer garden, permanent restrooms and a sculpture garden, Wood said, describing it as a “Mishawaka-scaled version of Rockefeller Center.”
Designs for the $7 million project still need approvals from the city’s parks board and Redevelopment Commission. It would fill a now-grassy area that links to the park’s pedestrian bridge.
A two-story building at the plaza would house ice skate rentals and lockers, the Zamboni, a second-floor venue space that could be rented and a café with indoor and outdoor seating that would be leased to a business. The ice loop would convert to a walking path in the off season.
It would be just across the street from the new Mill at Ironworks Plaza that is now being built with city, state and private dollars, a combination of 232 apartments, shops and parking garage that will fill two blocks along Beutter’s southern edge.
“We want to have more activity downtown,” Wood said.