Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz and City Council Member Andrew Cohen are calling for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to transform the former site of the ice skating rink in Van Cortlandt Park, located at Broadway and West 242nd Street, into a weekend holiday market.

“The existing space at Van Cortlandt Park is a perfect location for such a market,” said the officials in a joint letter. “The park is a well-known regional attraction and is easily accessible from all points, given its location to public transportation serving the Northwest Bronx and Westchester.”

The full letter can be read here:

The four officials envision the site to be a one-year temporary market similar to the existing market at Bryant Park and the one proposed for Highbridge Park in Manhattan. The proposal would use the vacant land in manner that brings people Holiday cheer joy to the area as well as give a boost to the economy in the surrounding area.

“The adjacent Broadway corridor already enjoys heavy foot traffic, and a new amenity such as a holiday market would only drive that traffic higher, which in turn would generate greater opportunities to draw customers to local businesses in the Riverdale and Kingsbridge communities,” states the letter.

“We have seen how a Holiday Market is a beneficial use of space in other locations, not just for people in the community but also surrounding businesses,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I cannot think of better way to temporarily use this vacant space in Van Cortlandt Park as we look for new ideas for the long-term future of this site. I hope that the Department of Parks & Recreation hears our recommendation, and I look forward to working with that agency, my colleagues and the people of the neighborhood to make this proposal a reality.”

“There would be no better holiday treat than a vibrant, thriving weekend market at the former site of the ice skating rink at Van Cortlandt Park. It’s critical we make the most of our public spaces and encourage commercial activity in our borough. I’m proud to support Borough President Diaz’s proposal and look forward to this plan being realized in the coming months,” said State Senator Jeff Klein.

“While it is unfortunate that the ice skating rink located in Van Cortlandt Park at Broadway and West 242nd Street had to close last year, the prospect of a weekend Holiday Market for this coming holiday season is very exciting for our community,” said State Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz. “Though the future of this site is uncertain, bringing a one-year Holiday Market would be a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season as a community, while also bringing in people from outside of the Kingsbridge-Riverdale neighborhood. Between the already existing foot traffic from the Broadway shopping corridor, and the convenient access to the 1 Train at West 242nd Street, this attraction would surely bring people in from all over the City.”

“For almost a year the open space that was once the Van Cortlandt Park Ice Rink has remained empty. I believe it would be in the best interest of the community if the space was utilized for a holiday market. This high quality development would help create an additional  tourism aspect to the park by generating new visitors, while also drawing in local customers. While I will not rule out the additional of a new rink in the future, I believe this seasonal amenity would perfect solution to revive the current un-used space for the upcoming holiday season,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.