The redevelopment of the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory into the country’s largest ice skating complex has been mired by funding uncertainties, but the long-planned revitalization project may finally be moving forward.
The Post reports that Mayor de Blasio announced on Wednesday that the city’s Economic Development Corporation will turn over the lease for the property to former New York Rangers captain Mark Messier and co-developer Ken Parker, together Kingbridge National Ice Center LLC (KNIC), once the state’s economic development group formally authorizes a $108 million loan that Governor Cuomo announced as part of the state’s budget in January.
De Blasio indicated that the state EDC could approve the loan as early as next month, but the state itself hasn’t formalized a timeline.
The city placed the lease on the five-acre site in escrow in April 2016 and refused to hand it over to the developer until the latter was able to prove it had the necessary funding for the project. Several months later, a judge asked the city to consider handing over the lease on the property to KNIC on the condition that they secure the funding for phase one of construction by February 2017.
The developers have spoken out about how securing loans for the project has been a challenge without having the lease for the property. The developers have raised about $20 million through private funding, and secured a $30 million loan from the Empire State Development Corporation.
The redevelopment of the ice ring is projected to cost $350 million, but as these things do, it will likely end up costing more. KNIC is hoping to break ground on the project by the end of the year. Keeping in mind that original groundbreaking was supposed to happen in 2014, there’s really no time like the present.
Original plans for the armory’s redevelopment into the Kingsbridge National Ice Center called for nine year-round ice rinks, including one that can seat 5,000, plus 50,000-square-feet of community space.