The Real Deal New York

Kingsbridge Armory developers sue city, claiming it’s deliberately icing project

The Mark Messier-led firm alleges former EDC president was working with former partners: suit

April 13, 2016 12:42PM

KingsbridgeArmory2

From left: Rendering of a revamped armory at 29 West Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx and Mark Messier (Credit: Brendan Lee via Wikipedia)

That’ll be five minutes for fighting. The developers of the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx are suing the city, accusing the de Blasio administration of “deliberately” delaying the $350 million project.

Developer Kingsbridge National Ice Center, led by New York Rangers legend Mark Messier and Kevin Parker, wants to convert the former armory into a 750,000-square-foot complex with nine ice rinks, an arena, and community and wellness centers.

In October 2014, the developers signed a 99-year lease with the city’s Economic Development Corporation, but because the developers have yet to show they have $158 million in place for the first phase of the project, the city has not turned over the lease.

The lawsuit, filed in Bronx Supreme Court on Tuesday, alleges that former EDC President Kyle Kimball plotted with three former partners of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center — Jonathan Richter, Marcus Wignell and Jeff Spiritos, the New York Post reported. The three sued in 2014 to gain control of the project from Parker, but lost, Curbed reported.

“It now appears that, while publicly pretending to cooperate with KNIC, EDC was secretly working to advance the private interests of the three favored individuals and other non-party co-conspirators to the detriment of KNIC, the Kingsbridge community, the Bronx, and the City of New York,” the suit alleges.

The EDC said in a statement that it “has bent over backwards to support the Kingsbridge project through continued legal and operational challenges faced by the KNIC team. Any allegations to the contrary are totally unfounded. We remain committed to delivering this project for the people of the Bronx.”

Last month, the city extended the deadline for the developers to show the funding was in place. [NYP and Curbed]Dusica Sue Malesevic

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