The planned conversion of the Kingsbridge Armory into an ice hockey center maybe halted due to a lack of funds, the New York Times reports. The development firm behind the project now has until April 25 to prove that it has $158 million to go forth with the first phase of construction.
The fate of the armory is currently embroiled in a somewhat messy back and forth between the state and the developer on one side, and the city on the other.
The city has placed the lease on the five-acre site in escrow at the moment, and it won't transfer it over to the developer unless the latter can prove it has the requisite funding.
The developers on their part led by Kevin E. Parker, and including former New York Ranger Mark Messier, say that it's becoming increasingly difficult to get investments for the project without the transfer of the lease.
Parker's team has raised $20 million so far in private funding, and it has a non-binding pledge from the state for a $138 million construction loan.
This is what the City is concerned about. They want to see a binding contract.
"We do have a responsibility to protect this community in the event this project can’t get financed," Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development told the Times. "We don’t want to spend years in court, or be left with a half-demolished building that’s no good to anyone."
The city has already granted the developers an extension of over 500 days, according to what Glen told the Times.
The plan for the Kingsbridge National Ice Center (KNIC) calls for the creation of a 5,000-seat hockey stadium, eight more ice skating rinks, and a community center at a cost of $350 million. The project has the support of locals and elected officials alike and was already approved by the City Council over two years ago.
Developers have also been trying to secure funding through the EB-5 Program, but say it's impossible without a lease. But the head of the United States Immigration Fund, which has helped New York developers secure this type of funding in past, told the Times that this should not cause any hold up in regards to funding.
- Bronx Ice Center Plan Hangs in the Balance [New York Times]
- Messier Gets Another Month to Secure Funding for Kingsbridge Ice Center [Curbed]
- All the Kingsbridge Armory Coverage [Curbed]