AMESBURY — The Atlantic Sports Center is one step closer to breaking ground after its project manager recently received permits from the Planning Board.

Billerica-based Global Property Developers Corp. proposes building an indoor athletic facility that features six hockey rinks, physical therapy space and training facilities, a restaurant, an office building and a conference/function room, among other amenities.

The 410,000-square-foot facility would be built on 51 acres at 56 South Hunt Road, with a cost estimate of more than $48 million.

The Planning Board approved the project June 25 and project manager Michael Gorman said he received his permits Aug. 27.

"We are obviously thrilled," Gorman said. "It has been a long time coming and it is validation of all the hard work we and the city have put in to help us bring this to this point."

With permits in hand, Gorman said he has been working to shore up the project's financing.

"It is certainly our goal to have a very effective fall in terms of moving the ball forward," Gorman said. "Now that we are in the midst of hopefully closing our financing, hopefully we can get a groundbreaking underway. We are hoping for these steps to move as quickly as possible so that we can start having some visible action on our property."

Although Gorman did not share a timetable for a groundbreaking, he said the date is "fast approaching."

"Certainly, our goal this entire year is to have some physical activity on that property before the year ends," Gorman said. "We are still hopeful that some physical activity will occur before the winter sets in. But this has been a long process and we are attempting to get to where we need to be as quickly as possible.

"We are now aligning ourselves with the proper excavation companies and cement, and fulfilling our other obligations that will make the building come to fruition," Gorman said. "We are also working to get the road infrastructure set up so that the trucks that will be going up there will do so safely. There are steps to this but we are getting, every day, a little closer to getting this in the ground."

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.