CPC Unanimously Approves Kingsbridge Armory
In a unanimous vote, the City Planning Commission today approved the Kingsbridge Armory ULURP application, moving the much-heralded Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) project one step closer to completion. The project now heads to the Bronx Borough Board and then to the City Council, where it will seek its final approvals before it reaches the mayor’s desk.
“This is an extremely important, transformative project that will not only reshape this historic structure, but will provide living wage jobs, recreation opportunities and community programming. This project will not just help revitalize the surrounding neighborhood, but will add to the borough’s new reputation as a sports mecca while advancing the concept of the ‘New Bronx.’ I look forward to its approval at the City Council,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President Diaz added, “The KNIC Proposal will preserve a significant and irreplaceable architectural and engineering icon and landmark, which will now be saved for posterity. Developed for military use, the Armory will now become a cultural and recreational asset for our great borough and city in the near future.”
“Today’s vote will facilitate the construction of a world class skating, community and educational facility that will promote the Borough, produce many needed permanent jobs, teach the art of skating, promote the art of competitive ice hockey and be the catalyst for the rebirth of the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx, the entire borough of the Bronx, the City as a whole and the entire region,” said Orlando Marin, Bronx Representative to the City Planning Commission.
“I am very pleased that the City Planning Commission has approved the Kingsbridge Armory proposal. The project is enormously important for the Bronx and will transform the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood. I will be a vigorous advocate for prompt Council approval,” said City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell.
“I am incredibly pleased that the City Planning Commission has unanimously approved the Kingsbridge National Ice Center project. This decision brings us one step closer to transforming the Kingsbridge Armory into an important economic engine for the Kingsbridge community and the Bronx as a whole,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera. "I am proud that we have been able to move forward a deal that will revitalize a Bronx landmark while providing living wage jobs, community programs and economic development to the community I serve,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.
“This unanimous vote by the City Planning Commission on the proposal of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) is great news for the Bronx and New York City. I want to commend Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for his leadership on this important initiative. The KNIC proposal will give the children of our borough and our city an amazing recreational outlet, bring numerous jobs for the people of the Bronx and revenue to the surrounding merchants in the area, and is deserving of such strong support,” said City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito.
“Community Board #7 is very happy that the NYC City Planning Commission has approved the Kingsbridge National Ice Center proposal and we look forward to the opening of this wonderful facility which will empower our community and its residents,” said Adaline Walker Santiago, Chairperson, Bronx Community Board #7.
"This is great news for Kingsbridge Heights and all of the Bronx. I have strongly supported the proposal by KNIC because it promises to not only bring living wage jobs to the community, but also provide world class facilities that will benefit young people from throughout the Bronx and beyond. I also believe that this project will revitalize the Kingsbridge Road shopping district and the entire community. Kudos to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for his steadfast leadership, without which this project would not have been possible,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.
“It’s exciting to know that the Bronx is one step closer to becoming home to the world’s largest indoor ice skating rink,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation. “I believe that the Kingsbridge National Ice Center will attract numerous visitors from all over the world, which is always great business for the Bronx.”
In April, the Kingsbridge National Ice Center Partners (KNIC) and the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance (KARA) signed a historic community benefits agreement (CBA) to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory into a facility committed to serving Bronx residents. That CBA represents a multi-million dollar benefit package for the local community.
For the first time in the history of New York City, a developer has agreed to wall-to-wall living wage jobs for local workers, more than 50,000 square feet of community space, targeted local hiring, opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses, free ice time for local schools, local procurement, sustainable green development and operation, and a business incubator to facilitate wealth creation for local residents. KNIC also plans to create a foundation to establish free after-school ice sports and academic tutoring programs for disadvantaged youth. The program will be modeled after the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation in Philadelphia, which has seen considerable academic and athletic success with those students who participate.
The Community Benefits Agreement has been signed by dozens of neighborhood organizations and community partners representing thousands of residents in the Northwest Bronx that support the project.
The Kingsbridge National Ice Center project was announced as the City’s official choice for the Kingsbridge Armory at a press conference in April 2013, which was attended by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Borough President Diaz, City Council Member Fernando Cabrera, KNIC Partners LLC Founder Kevin Parker, New York Rangers hockey legend Mark Messier, Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalist Sarah Hughes, then New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and then Community Board #7 Chairman Paul Foster.
The original press release announcing the project can be read here: http://on.nyc.gov/ZGheD1.
Full video of that event can be watched here: http://on.nyc.gov/18pwSTg.