Tag Archives: Kingsbridge Armory

My Opinion Piece in City Limits: Kingsbridge Armory Ice-Rink Plan Ditched After a Decade of Inaction

3 Mar

3.3.22 — Almost 30 years after first writing about the Kingsbridge Armory’s potential redevelopment, I went at it again thanks to failure of the crew that got city approval to build nine ice-hockey rinks there. That was in 2012. Zilch has happened since. Read more in my City Limits piece below.

After 8 Years of Nothingness, Armory Ice-Rink Plan Ditched

17 Dec

Dec. 17, 2021 …. Breaking News (really, I’m not kidding!): After almost 30 years of fits and starts (and a lotta stops) on the future of the Kingsbridge Armory, the plan the city, and its chosen developer, got the OK on has been officially and legally ditched.

Almost exactly eight years ago — on Dec. 10, 2013 — the future of the historic site was handed over to KNIC (Kingsbridge National Ice Center) a group that was planning to turn the armory into a home for nine ice skating rinks, particularly for hockey teams, and 50,000-square-feet of space for local nonprofit community organizations. (The armory — the biggest one in the world! — is over 520,000 square feet.)

But virtually zilch has happened since.

So, earlier today, wondering where the heck things were at long after after KNIC took on the project, I wrote to the city agency responsible for the program: the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). This was their breaking-news response:

“We are disappointed the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory — a centerpiece of the Kingsbridge community — has been set back but we look forward to working with the community to rethink the uses of this historic building.”

And referring to a recent legal ruling that led to their disappointment, EDC added this:

“In a recent decision, the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York agreed with New York City Economic Development Corporation that KNIC did not provide the necessary evidence of financing for the ice center project at Kingsbridge Armory by the required deadline in 2016.  Therefore, the project will not be proceeding. We are disappointed that KNIC has been unable to realize the financing for the project, despite continued efforts since the 2016 deadline.”

It’s been almost 30 years since I and the Norwood News first covered the armory (see photo below), when the state handed it over to the city. The paper covered it relentlessly over the next few decades. That had an impact on helping get the empty historic facility some attention from local politicians and city agencies, as did the relentless activism of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

But now that we’re back where it all started, it needs much more media and political attention, like if the Park Avenue Armory on Manhattan’s Upper East Side suddenly went empty. No one wants another freakin 30 years of this (or even 5 or 10!). Let’s get it on the top of our elected officials’ priority list and make them focus on what the community wants and needs. —Jordan Moss

The state of the Kingsbridge Armory was covered by the non-profit Bronx community newspaper, the Norwood News,
from 1993 to 2013 and beyond.
Photo by Jordan Moss

Kingsbridge Armory’s Endless Stall

18 Oct

It drives me a little nuts, everytime I walk or run by the Kingsbridge Armory. 

I first wrote about it in 1993; community organizers and activists with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition got involved soon thereafter; and after many starts and stops and Mayor Bloomberg’s heavily defeated proposal to make a mall out of the giant joint (more than 500,000 square feet!) without  a promise of a fair wage for workers, a group that adhered to a fair-wage deal finally got a plan saluted and signed by all sides. Named the Kingsbridge National Ice Center was going to be nine ice skating rinks for pro-hockey, and locals too. But the last word I found was in 2017 here and here. It’s been six years since there was a “deal” in 2014. Argh!!!!

Kingsbrige Armory. Where is it headed? Photo by Jordan Moss

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.