New York Daily News
By Tanyanika Samuels
April 22, 2013
After months of speculation, a developer for the long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory could be named as early as Monday, the Daily News has learned.
The city Economic Development Corp. is poised to make an announcement, sources close to the negotiations said. And in the strongest signal yet that the fortress on W. Kingsbridge Road is fated to become an ice sports center, several Bronx groups have signed a community benefits agreement with Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) partners.
“We are extremely excited to sign this community benefits agreement and set a precedent for how development projects should be done in the Bronx and citywide,” said Alice McIntosh of the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance.
In what’s been hailed as a first for the city, KNIC has agreed to wall-to-wall living wage jobs for local workers; over 50,000 square feet of community space; guarantee that 51% of jobs would go to Bronx residents; provide opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses; and grant priority ice time for borough schools, among other provisions.
“This [agreement] is substantial,” said Sandra Lobo-Jost, who heads the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition. “It will ensure that the needs of local residents are at the forefront.”
The community benefits agreement was seen as the last hurdle in negotiations over the redevelopment of the armory.
The proposed ice sports center would include nine hockey rinks, a 5,000-seat arena and a 50,000-square-foot community space that would be open to area groups and an education program for local youth.
The project would bring an estimated 1,800 construction jobs and create about 200 permanent jobs that will pay a living wage.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has long hailed the plan as a major opportunity for the borough but declined to comment on the community benefits agreement.
KNIC was one of two developers in the final running to renovate the armory.
The West Village firm Youngwoo & Associates proffered a project called “Mercado Mirabo” that included a movie complex and a town square-style market for local restaurants and businesses.