Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is celebrating this morning’s unanimous vote at the Bronx Borough Board in support of the forthcoming redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory.
“Today’s vote will facilitate the construction of a world class skating, community and educational facility that will be the catalyst for positive redevelopment not just in the surrounding community, but across the borough,” said Borough President Diaz.
The 10-0 vote of the Bronx Borough Board included three City Council Members—Fernando Cabrera, G. Oliver Koppell and Andy King—who attended the meeting to offer their support for the project in person.
“The Kingsbridge National Ice Center promises to not only bring living wage jobs to the community, but also provide world class facilities that will benefit our youth here in the Bronx, the City of New York and the surrounding region. As I have said numerous times, this project is going to have a tremendous positive impact on not just the Northwest Bronx but the entire borough, and I am proud to support the development of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center,” said Borough President Diaz.
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, Council Member 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.
Also in April, 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.