San Mateo Ice Rink Was Operating on Thin Ice Prior to SBA 504 Loan

TMC Financing, a commercial real estate lender specializing in SBA 504 loans for growing businesses, recently helped Mounir Kardosh, Founder & CEO of Nazareth Enterprises, secure financing to purchase a 55,000 square-foot retail and ice rink facility. This $11.5 million acquisition aided in the rescue of the beloved San Mateo ice rink, Ice Oasis, from closure.

The previous owner of the ice rink planned to demolish the rink and convert it into a retail only space.  In protest, the city of San Mateo launched an inspiring “Save the Rink”  campaign.  This grassroots movement enabled Nazareth Enterprises to first lease the facility, reopen the abandoned ice rink, and eventually purchase the building.

Kardosh successfully owns and operates a second ice rink in Redwood city only 9 miles from the San Mateo location, proving Kardosh’s dedication and commitment to the neighborhood. When the ice rink first reopened Kardosh stated, “It is a pleasure to operate the rink because of the benefit to the community. The rink means so much to San Mateo residents and I based my company in San Mateo because of our thriving community.”

“We opened the first Nazareth Ice Oasis [Redwood City] as a way of giving back, but certainly, operating two ice rinks in close proximity is important to their financial viability so that we can keep these important recreational amenities open for the community.”

Ultimately, San Mateo residents can take comfort in the fact that their cherished ice rink is no longer facing an imminent shutdown. It is run by an established business owner who now owns the building also, eliminating the threat of unexpected closures due to an unreliable landlord.

Why Choose SBA 504 Program?

The San Mateo ice rink has a secure future now that Kardosh acquired the property with an SBA 504 Loan.  By utilizing the SBA 504 Program, Kardosh was able to lock down a below market, fixed interest rate for 25 years.  Not only has Kardosh ensured fixed occupancy costs, but he also gained long-term stability, and the flexibility of owning his own building.

“Financing unique properties, such as an ice rink, can come with less than favorable terms, requiring up to a 40 percent down payment,” explains Anna O’Brien, TMC’s SVP who assisted Kardosh in the purchase. “The 504 loan requires only a 15 percent down payment for special use properties, combined with a long term, below market interest rate – it’s a win-win.”

Another perk of the 504 program is that it allows small business owners to purchase more space than what they initially may need.  Nazareth Enterprises acquired a 55,000 square-foot building, yet only plans to occupy 30,000 square feet. That leaves 25,000 square feet of retail space available to lease out. Michael Ohayon, Nazareth’s Director of asset management, aims to make major improvements to their facility and rent out the unused space to increase their monthly cash flow.

At the time of purchase Ohayon said, “We are in advanced conversations with some restaurants and other retail to fill the balance of the building. We are also planning a new roof, and probably bringing in solar to keep the costs down.”

SBA 504 loans can be used to finance the total project cost, which can include the purchase price of real estate, construction/renovations, equipment, soft costs and closing costs. By enabling owners to keep their capital working to grow the business and create jobs, the 504 program provides businesses and communities long-term stability. By choosing SBA 504 commercial real-estate financing, Kardosh has gained control of his occupancy costs and can continue to focus on Ice Oasis’ growth and longevity.

More About SBA 504 Real Estate Loans

The Small Business Administration 504 loan program allows small-business owners to finance commercial real estate and other fixed assets with long-term, below-market, fixed interest rates. Business owners can confirm they meet the qualifications for an SBA 504 loan by visiting the TMC Financing website.

About TMC Financing

TMC Financing is the No. 1 CDC in Northern California and has ranked in the top five CDCs nationwide for two decades. During the past 35 years, TMC has provided over $9 billion in financing for more than 5,000 businesses throughout California and Nevada. For more information on SBA 504 loans and the local businesses they support, visit