Yet another chapter is beginning in the two-decade old development saga at the Kingsbridge Armory. Proposals for the facility are due in later this week and whether this latest try at reimagining the landmark will stick and work is anyone’s guess. The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, which has been laying down its visions for the Armory since the late 1990s is holding a rally there tomorrow night at 6 p.m (corner of Kingsbridge Road and Reservoir Avenue). They’re calling again for living wage jobs and also for community space, opportunities for small businesses and no big-box retail. All that stuff got a little buried in the push last time around for what ended up mainly as a living wage campaign. That fight successfully buried the mayor’s proposal for a Related shopping mall at the Armory (a la Gateway near Yankee Stadium) as a new borough president, Ruben Diaz, Jr. got in front of an organized, union-backed campaign. The Council defeated the mayor’s plan handily, which is a real rarity in land use issues.
I’ll have a lot more to say about this as I’ve been covering the Armory since 1993 when District 10 Superintendent John Rehill wanted to see a massive complex of public schools there right after the National Guard handed over the keys of the head house and drill hall to the city. In the meantime, if you’re interested, here’s a link to a bunch of stories (67 actually) about the Armory that I and other wrote for the Norwood News, and my detailed take on what was going on at the time the Council defeated the mall plan.