The Real Deal New York

Kingsbridge Armory developers reject city’s compromise offer

De Blasio administration proposed turning over the lease with conditions

April 14, 2016 11:10AM

KingsbridgeArmory2

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

The plot thickens: less than a day after the developers of the Kingsbridge Armory sued the city for delaying the Bronx project, the de Blasio administration offered a compromise.

But developer Kingsbridge National Ice Center, led by New York Rangers legend Mark Messier and Kevin Parker, rejected the deal.

The de Blasio administration proposed turning over the lease for the former armory on the condition that if the developer did not have the $158 million in place for the first phase of the project by Dec. 30, it would vacate the property, the New York Times reported.

The developers filed a lawsuit in in Bronx Supreme Court on Tuesday, alleging that the city is “deliberately” delaying the $350 million project, which would turn the property into 750,000-square-foot complex with nine ice rinks, an arena, and community and wellness centers.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said in a letter that the lawsuit “is totally unfounded and an unproductive step” but “we nonetheless wish to accommodate KNIC,” according to the newspaper.

A lawyer for the developers, William Brewer, said it was “disappointing” that it took filing the lawsuit for the city to resume communication and that the developers want “the lease that was previously agreed upon by both parties.”

“We reject any offer that limits our ability to begin construction or restricts the ability to record a mortgage against the lease,” Brewer said in a statement.

The developers signed a 99-year lease with the city’s Economic Development Corporation in October 2014. The city wanted the developers to show they had the $158 million for the first phase of the project before releasing the lease from escrow.

Kingsbridge National Ice Center and its lawyer said that because the city did not turn over the lease, it hampered their ability to raise money, the Times reported. [NYT]Dusica Sue Malesevic

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