Bronx borough officials, including President Ruben Diaz Jr., threw their support behind a plan to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into an ice arena, prompting the Times to cover the design, but this isn't the only possible future for the empty armory. The EDC is also considering a proposal from Young Woo and Associates, and the early endorsement and ensuing press for the competition has them a little peeved. "The public endorsement is early," one partner told the Bronx Times. Another said, "The borough president needs to listen to the community more than anything else."
So what's the plan put forth by YWA? Called "Mercado Mirabo," the plan calls for a 45,000-square-foot food court for vendor booths, rock-climbing wall, movie theater, and hip hop museum. One reason why the ice center won favor with Diaz's office is that the developers committed to paying workers a living wage of $10 per hour, while YWA did not. The local merchant's association is also worried that the market could take away from local business, but YWA says they've received support from Community Board 7. The EDC is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.
UPDATE: A representative from YWA reached out to us to clarify the living wage issue:
On the number of living wage jobs, our proposal is also stronger. Mercado Mirabo, at a bare minimum, will create the same and likely exceed the number of living wage jobs offered by the ice hockey proposal. In total, we anticipate creating 1500 jobs, of which at least 800 will be permanent positions – and this does not even include the entrepreneurial opportunities created by our business incubator, shared workspace and creative marketplace. It's important to note that Mercado Mirabo is not seeking public subsidies nor funding and thus is not subject to city law requiring wall-to-wall living wage jobs. Nonetheless, we have and will certainly continue to encourage our future tenants to employ at a living wage.· Kingsbridge Armory Ice Rink Opponents Frosty Over Bid [Bronx Times]
· Kingsbridge Armory coverage [Curbed]