Tag Archives: Kingsbridge Armory

Cuomo: State Will Reignite Massive Skating Facility Plan for Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory

9 Jan
Kingsbridge Armory 2016

The Kingsbridge Armory. Photo by Jordan Moss

The massive ice skating facility planned for the Kingsbridge Armory was brought back to life today.

As the Norwood News reports, Gov. Cuomo announced that the state will provide funding close to the tally required to reignite a plan to transform the armory into a massive home to nine ice-skating rinks, the largest such entity in the universe.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, but Cuomo’s announcement appears to bring the complicated project close to a resolution after 23 years of a long, devoted community campaign led from the beginning by the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

For Norwood News armory coverage from 1999 on, go here and here.

 

 

Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment’s Financial Uncertainty

19 Feb
Kingsbridge Armory 2016

The Kingsbridge Armory on Kingsbridge Road. Photo by Jordan Moss

Politico New York reports on the uncertain financial status of the mega ice-skating palace planned for the  Kingsbridge Armory’s redevelopment.

Kingsbridge Armory Re-Do Update

20 Jan

 

armory

The Kingsbridge Armory on Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx. Photo by Jordan Moss.

In the latest Kingsbridge Armory status update, the Norwood News recently reported that the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) will receive a $30 million loan from Empire State Development for its first redevelopment phase of the massive landmark facility. The Armory will become the largest ice-skating center in the world, with nine rinks. Completing the initial phase of work is scheduled for April 2017. That’s more than 20 years after initial debates and activism were launched to plan the armory’s future.

Next Steps to Revive Land Next to Bronx Step Street?

21 May

On Kingsbridge Terrace in the northwest Bronx neighborhood of Kingsbridge Heights there is a significantly high step street heading down to Heath Avenue and West 229th Street that is in terrible, dangerous condition. At the April meeting of Community Board 8’s Traffic and Transportation Committee, The city’s Department of Design and Construction announced the reconstruction of that step street, with work beginning next spring and ending 15 months later if all goes well. It’s a much needed project that includes something cool: a path to roll your bike  — instead of carrying it — up the steps.

On a related note, yesterday, when I went for a morning run, I saw a large, neighboring bit of land through a circular hole in the wooden fence.

What was this empty area neighboring the 229th Street step street in Kingsbridge Heights? Photo by Jordan Moss

What was this empty area neighboring the 229th Street step street in Kingsbridge Heights? Photo by Jordan Moss

The material on its grounds looks like former playground equipment. Anyone know what this was? Any plans to restore it? Thought I’d check it out with neighbors and other Bronx Matters readers before I checked in with DDC or other city agencies.

-Jordan Moss

Another New Bronx Restaurant Headed Our Way in Kingsbridge

12 May

The newest restaurant addition— there have been many in recent months — that is still under a bit of construction in Kingsbridge is the Tilila Bar and Grill (might be another name in there but not certain). It’s where the Bottom Line on Bailey Avenue (and 231st Street) was for a few years with apparently insufficient success. But the wooden construction-hiding boards covering the place were torn down like a week ago, uncovering a turquoise bar/restaurant that looks more like a cool house, maybe in New Orleans, like my friends the Aucoins, who know NOLA very well, told me.

Co-owner of new restaurant on Bailey Ave. in Kingsbridge, TK, says he hopes it opens at the end of the May. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

Co-owner of new restaurant on Bailey Ave. in Kingsbridge,  Jose Severino says he hopes it opens at the end of the May. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

Tilila already has feet in local nabes thanks to its co-owners. Jose Severino (in photo above) owns the Burrito Shop on Broadway near Manhattan College, and his partner Henry Gonzalez owns Tin Marin, another popular restaurant up the hill on the other side of Broadway on Riverdale Avenue.

Severino hopes the new joint will open at the end of the month and that looks likely. The furniture appears to have arrived and the walls are filled with art and photographs.

It may not be open yet but as you can see from this pic, Tilila is gettin' there. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

It may not be open yet but as you can see from this pic, Tilila is almost there. (Photo by Jordan Moss)

He told me Tilila is going to include the following: Flamenco once a month; karaoke once a week; a huge bar menu including tapas, chicken, steak and fish. And some time of day (I didn’t get it down precisely) there will be beer for a buck.

As locals know, Tilila adds to the opening of a couple new, and relatively new, restaurants on the same curved block: 100% (great fruit smoothy café open all day and much of the eve) and A Capella Pizza, which just opened last week.

Is Kingsbridge Armory Ice Plan in Danger of Melting?

7 Jun
How problematic is a legal battle between Kingsbridge Armory ice palace partners? Photo by J. Moss

How problematic is a legal battle between Kingsbridge Armory ice palace partners?
Photo by J. Moss

Transforming the Kingsbridge Armory into the world’s largest ice skating Mecca is under fire as its key developer, Kevin Parker,  is engaged in a legal battle with partners, DNAinfo has reported. The Norwood News had a bit to add to the story. If you’re interested in a longer background (like 17 years) leading up to the deal community activists made with Kingsbridge National Ice Center, check out my story from August in City Limits’ Bronx Bureau.

—Jordan Moss

Big News: Bronx Pols Get Behind Ice Center at Armory

22 Aug

Daniel Massey of Crain’s reported today that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and other borough elected officials will announce their support for the Kingsbridge National Ice Center’s vision for the Kingsbridge Armory. The project is one of two under consideration by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, the other one being a small-business market like the DeKalb Market in Brooklyn owned by Young Woo. For more info on both prospects,  click here for a link to BronxTalk which featured presentations by both potential developers.

An interesting note: Almost 20 years ago, when I first began reporting on the vacated Armory, Oliver Koppell, now a Council member but then a state assemblyman, loved to talk about the possibility of the Armory being home to an ice complex. As I recall, he said his daughter had trained at such a facility in Lake Placid. No one really paid that much attention. But despite several other non-ice proposals in the mix over the two decades, Koppell never seemed to let go of the idea entirely. I remember him telling George Pataki about the ice center when the former governor came to tour the facility several years ago.

—Jordan Moss

‘Best’ Living Wage Law Is in San Jose

30 Apr

The long debated and delayed living wage legislation, emanating from an epic land use battle at the Kingsbridge Armory, is coming to a vote today.

A press release drafted by the retail workers union and the Living Wage NYC Coalition, which we received from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s office yesterday, states: “Culminating an historic two-year campaign that created a citywide living wage movement that sets the standards for nationwide policies, the final Living Wage Bill will be voted on by the New York City Council at the stated meeting this coming Monday.”

The ” sets-the-standards” language is consistent with Diaz and his staff repeatedly reffering to the legislation as the “best” in the country.

The Council legislation here initially affected retailers in developments receiving taxpayer subsidies. But it was eventually gutted to only include employees of the developer and then further whittled down by Council Speaker Christine Quinn exempting workers at a massive development on the west side of Manhattan. Estimates now indicate that about 400 workers will benefit from the NYC legislation and only if the Council can override the mayor’s vowed veto.

As far as we know, only Riverdale Press reporter Adam Wisnieski  has bothered to check out the claim that this bill is the “best” in the land. He found that through a 1998 law in San Jose, more workers receive higher pay  in a city about an eighth the size of NYC.

Approximately 600 workers were affected in San Jose, a city with less than 1 million people when a living wage law was passed in 1998, according to a study on living wage by the University of Washington. The subsidy threshold is lower than what will be required to trigger the law New York. The definition of “living wage” also changes with the cost of living.

Right now, any developer receiving $100,000 or more in taxpayer subsides in San Jose is required to pay $13.59 per hour with health benefits or $14.84 per hour without benefits, according to the city’s website.

Compare that to New York’s $1 million subsidy threshold and requirement to pay $10 per hour with benefits and $11.50 without, and San Jose has a stronger living wage bill than New York.

And, arguably, a measure in Los Angeles bests the bill here as well, Wisnieski reports.